Stepping into Web 2.0: Blogging as a Rite of Passage for Educators

So here it is. The culmination of many a day’s hard graft. I have now completed designing the six week blended learning programme Stepping into Web 2.0: Blogging as a Rite of Passage for Educators which I am piloting with colleagues. Although, for practical reasons, the content has been created in Moodle, our VLE, all the action will take place online using Web 2.0 tools and practices. Participants will be reflecting on their journey via their blogs which can be found under the Communities of Practice link to the right of this blog (Monday 18th March). If there are any readers out there that have stumbled across this blog post and value the practice of blogging to support PDP, learning, teaching and assessment then if you have a moment please do read some of these new blog posts and add your comments. Your support may really motivate these educators who are new to blogging.

Below is the outline of my research proposal I had to present to my tutor at Huddersfield University which may help put my reasons and motivations for creating this programme into context.

Here is the short introduction for Stepping into Web 2.0 which you will find in Moodle.

Stepping into Web 2.0

“There is no better way to understand the impact of the Read/Write Web than becoming a part of it” (Richardson, 2010, p.38).

Image subject to copyright Presenter Media

Stepping into Web 2.0

Social media transforms teaching from static delivery of content to an ever-changing practice. The only way to learn this is through experience. Participating with emerging technologies outside your classroom is the best way to see the array of possibilities they hold” (Pacansky-Brock, 2013, p.46).

Welcome to this blended learning programme enabling you to step into the world of Web 2.0 by adopting and experimenting with tools and practices which focus on participation, collaboration, content-creation, reflection and collective knowledge. You will be writing a blog during your journey enabling you to reflect on your experience and share your knowledge with your peers thereby creating a supportive network and community of practice. You will understand the relevance of these technologies and practices and learn how they are being applied in a wide range of learning and teaching contexts. The underpinning pedagogical principles associated with this programme is based on situative, authentic, problem-based learning within the context of a social constructivist framework and a community of practice.

You  may ask yourself why it is necessary to keep up your knowledge and skills in relation to social media technologies and practices? Is it true that the bottom line is “effective teaching requires effective technology use?” (Ertmer, 2010, p.256).

Watch these two YouTube video clips for an insight into what other educators may think.

These are just two examples of resources created by educators to promote debate and perhaps controversy. Do we really need an alternative DNA pedagogy? How do you see yourself in relation to your confidence with Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)? Are you a Woody, Buzz Lightyear or Rex? (Techstory, 2010, p.8).

There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss such questions throughout your journey so fasten your seat belts and let us get on the road – to e-tivity and Beyond!  Most of our discussions will take place on our public blogs however, if you have any queries related to your journey or you have a technical question then please communicate via our Yammer Group. This is our walled garden where our conversations remain private.

Twitter feeds for this group will be #stepweb2


  • Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T. (2010) Teacher Technology Change: How Knowledge, Confidence, Beliefs, and Culture Intersect, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp.255-284
  •  Pacansky-Brock, M., (2012) Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies. Routledge Taylor and Francis. New York
  •  Richardson, W., (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. U.S.A: Corwin.

All images are attributed to their original author(s). Any images not sourced are copyright from PresenterMedia ©

3 thoughts on “Stepping into Web 2.0: Blogging as a Rite of Passage for Educators

  1. Very interesting content. I am a PhD student in the area doing something similar next year within schools. I’m glad I found the blog and will continue to follow it. You communicate your ideas really well. Nice work!

    • Sorry for the late reply. I have been busy following the blogs of other participants on this programme. It has been an interesting journey with many unexpected outcomes, twists and turns which I need to reflect on. It is a delicate balance to nurture a CoP through blogging. There are arguments for using blogs primarily for “assessment” of learning but then this “stipulation” could detract from the rewards of simply being a part of a fluid process of learning in which sociality is key. I am looking forward to getting some individual feedback from learners to see how they feel about the whole thing. The fun part of project like this is chewing over the feedback, critically analysing it and hopefully coming out stronger the other side…and wiser. I hope your project goes well.

      Are you really “cantankerous” by the way?

      • I’m not that cantankerous, but I can be I must admit!

        I think feedback from learners on using new technology or online platforms in classrooms is key to everything, which is basically the subject of my PhD. I’ll be doing my field research in schools in the north. Perhaps it would be possible to include your institute into this as I am in need of co-operative teachers making full use of mobile/online tech. Possible? I’d be happy to email you with further details?

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