Matrix of some uses of blogs in education

This week and next I’m helping to facilitate an online discussion on the use of blogs in education for about 400 members from the B.C.-wide Educational Technology Users Group.

We are facilitating the discussion through a multi-author Typepad blog (there are 4 other facilitators involved). We’ve structured the sessions to begin with an introduction to what blogs are and how to read and write them. We’re now moving into Day 4 and from hereon we get into far more interesting stuff – what are the actual applications of blogs in education. It is a very diverse group of participants ranging widely across job descriptions, disciplines and skill sets.

To help facilitate this discussion and my own thinking on it, I’ve worked up this matrix of some of the possible uses of blogs in education.

A big caveat here – this matrix very much approaches the topic in the context of ‘formal’ education, and only really considers students, instructors and ‘the rest of the net’ as actors. Obviously one could add much to this – librarians, institutional RSS feeds … That’s why I titled it ‘Some’ uses of blogs in education. Even just considering this limited set of actors, I have definitely left much off. And I didn’t try to enumerate all of instructional events and applications you could facilitate through blogs (e.g. webquests as one example).

My goal here was to illustrate that blogs are about both writing and reading, and that one’s professional practice and ones instructional practice can be facilitated with the same technology. It’s aimed at an intro audience. I’d really love to hear any feedback on this. Do you think this would help people new to blogging understand some of its potential, or by creating this matrix am I just blinding them to other possibles uses not captured here? Thoughts, comments, etc appreciated. This is an early draft and if there’s interest I’ll share the source doc later on. – SWL