Source: Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. 17 (3), pp. 299-314. (July 2009).
This paper describes how a blogging exchange between pre-service teachers and elementary school children was used as part of a social studies pedagogy course.
The objective of this exchange was to develop the pre-service teachers’ understanding of children’s differing learning needs, interests and learning styles while the children were immersed in developing subject-specific content knowledge.
The blogging was used in conjunction with three virtual visits to a Grade 4 classroom through videoconferencing as a way to encourage ongoing interaction between the children and the pre-service teachers.
The experience was mutually beneficial for both the children and the pre-service teachers.
The children strove to perfect their work for an audience, and the pre-service teachers saw the theory they were learning about in their social studies course in action in a classroom.
Challenges included unanticipated reluctance on the part of the pre-service teachers to engage in the blogging mainly due to a lack of knowledge about and skill with blogging and conducting online discussion, and frustration with the erratic responses from the children.
Recommendations include increased emphasis on training both pre-service teachers and children on how to use blogs and how to frame questions and responses prior to incorporating a blogging experience.