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Essay Using Blogs in the Online Classroom

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Introduction
Beginning in Fall 2011, The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) will be switching their Learning Management System to BlackBoard version 9.0 from an older Campus Edition of WebCT. This change is necessary as WebCT was acquired by BlackBoard in 2006 and the product is no longer supported at the level needed by a large community college like CCBC that offers over 300 academic courses online per semester.
BlackBoard 9.0 allows the faculty to integrate blogs into the online course environment. A Blog (or weblog) is an editable web page with entries listed in reverse chronological order. These entries are content, such as personal or directed commentary, descriptions of events, favorite web links, or other material such as graphics or video, that is posted by the user. The blog allows for interactivity of others by allowing readers to post their own comments to the entries. (Zawilinski, 2009).
Analysis Using the SECTIONS Model
As online faculty will already be transitioning to a new learning management system, it will be important to ascertain whether adding a new course tool, like a blog, is a good decision. This paper is an analysis of using blogs in the online classroom using the SECTIONS model as described by Bates and Poole (2005). This model is a framework for selecting and using technology based on eight key aspects (Students, Ease of use and reliability, Costs, Teaching and learning, Interactivity, Organizational issues, Novelty, and Speed).


Students
Bates and Poole (2005) identify three aspects regarding students when selecting technology: access, student demographics, and differences in the way students learn. Access will not be a problem when using blogs within online courses. S...


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...ved April 15, 2011, from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Review/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVolume39/EducationalBlogging/157920
Downes, S. (2005, October 17). E-learning 2.0. eLearn Magazine, nl. Retrieved April 15, 2001, from http://www.elearnmag.org/subpage.cfm?section=articles&article=29-1
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: a systems view. Belmont: Wadsworth Pub. Co..
Shu, H., & Wang, S. (2011). The Impact of Using Blogs on College Students' Reading Comprehension and Learning Motivatio . Literacy Research and Instruction;, 50(1), 68-88.
Wortham, J. (2007, December 7). After 10 Years of Blogs, the Future's Brighter Than Ever . Retrieved April 17, 2011, from http://www.wired.com/entertainment/theweb/news/2007
Zawilinski,, L. (2009). HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking. The Reading Teacher, 62(8), 650 - 651.


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