Providing the soapbox, developing their voice: An analysis of weblogs as a tool for response to literature in the middle school language arts classroom
Katherine L. Cole, The University of Alabama, United States
The University of Alabama . Awarded
Since the use of Web logs is quickly becoming a widespread trend in today's Internet culture, the purpose of this study was to analyze blogs as a tool for response to literature in the middle school language arts classroom, to examine the attitudes and perceptions students and teachers have toward the implementation of blogs into the curriculum, and to examine perceptions of teachers and students regarding the implementation of technology in the language arts classroom. With their students, three teachers representing two middle schools in North Alabama participated in this research.
In this qualitative research design, the data analysis appeared to reveal that blogs facilitate an environment that is motivating, free of criticism and judgment, and enables students not only to have an audience for their writing, but, likewise, allows for the reading of peers' writing. Blogs appear to be an environment that can foster quality response to literature through the development of higher levels of discussion, although the data did not show that quality response was characteristic of struggling readers participating in the blog environment. Furthermore, blogs appeared to have a positive impact on teacher and student attitudes toward using technology in the language arts classroom, as well as on their perceptions of using blogs as a tool for response to literature in the language arts classroom. The results of this study were congruent with previous research on technology and learning.
Further study is recommended to explore what appeared to be a powerful link between students' reading peers' responses on the blog and the comprehension of readings. Notable findings in the study also provide grounds for further exploration in the area of utilizing blogs with struggling readers. Similar studies in the area of computer-mediated communication tools have supported the theories regarding the relationship between technology and learning; yet, the findings in this research give consideration to new tools such as blogs to further those theories and therefore make an impact on students through a paradigm in curriculum.
Cole, K.L. Providing the soapbox, developing their voice: An analysis of weblogs as a tool for response to literature in the middle school language arts classroom. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Alabama.
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Cited ByView References & Citations Map
Jeffrey Felix, Bonsall Union School District, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (Mar 03, 2008) pp. 3741–3748
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