What does a blog do that a discussion list or wiki can not do? This week in our course we have been discussing blogs. I personally prefer to use both wikis and blogs. I find blogs more difficult to get students to use. This is because blogs usually require more communication with language. I always think of blogs as online diaries. Who is really interested in reading your blog? The only people who will be reading my blogging during this class are my classmates, maybe, and the instructor because she wants to make sure that I am doing my homework. That is the reason that most students will use the blogs because their grades are tied to the amount of times that they blog.
Yes, I know that blogs are good tools for communication. There are so many ways for communication in online learning that it presents a problem for the instructor. If the instructor is just beginning to use online tools they will probably go crazy trying to decide which to use and which not to use. I felt completely overwhelmed when I took my first online certificate course. So many tools to use and so little time. I went to a presentation where the instructor said to choose no more than two different types of tools per class. Choose the tools that best fit your situation and stay with them.
New ideas and tools come up almost everyday. Each class I take requires us to use the tools for the class. These include online portfolios, blogs, wikis, and websites. I have at least 6 sites that I have created to fulfill the homework requirements for this certificate. Three of those sites have not been visited by anyone including me since the first class ended last semester.