Chapter 16 Building Digital Bridges to Our Public Sphere

Blogging, Media Literacy 2.0, and 21st Century Pedagogy

In: Education for Democracy 2.0
Robert C. Williams
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The blog is dead?! Long live the blog!

Much digital ink has been spilled lamenting the demise of the web log in favor of more visible social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. In this chapter, I argue that in a 21st century information-rich media environment, blogs as classroom tools are more useful than ever before. I have been using blogs in my media and communications classrooms since they rose to prominence at the turn of the millennium. While I have since incorporated social media platforms, even teaching courses on social media theory and practice, I find myself returning to blogs as a “hub” of teaching and learning with students. Why? I hope to explore the answer to that question in this chapter. In the spirit of Buzzfeed-esque TOP 10 clickbait, here are eleven reasons why blogging matters more than ever for 21st century teaching and learning:

1. blogs are FREE and accessible

2. blogs are easy to create

3. blogs are easy to edit and update

4. blogs are information-rich multimedia learning platforms

5. blogs are easily networked

6. blogs help organize teams

7. blogs have (near) universal accessibility

8. blogs allow student authorship

9. blogs are useful reflective tools

10. blogs offer participatory conversational platforms

11. blogs create public and visible accountability for both students and teachers

I unpack this “top 11” list, exploring elements of blogging while tying the list to larger themes in the book. Blogging offers a wide array of pedagogical opportunities for teachers and students alike. This chapter explores the ways in which blogging can support innovative learning approaches, which include: flipped classrooms, multimedia production, team project research and design, and reflective practice.

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