Blogging Beyond the Classroom is an online forum for exchanging ideas and swapping experience of learning and teaching with blogging and related social media. It is supported by a Teaching Development Grant awarded to me, Helen Rogers (Liverpool John Moores University), by the Higher Education Academy.
Most students in Higher Education today were born in the age of the internet. Though they have grown up as ‘digital natives’, most are, like their teachers, digital apprentices. It’s vital that graduate education prepares them to be responsible and self-reflexive participants in the digital public sphere. One of the best ways to do this is by ‘hands on’ learning and, perhaps best of all, by researching, creating and sharing in the public domain.
I thought blogging was just for fashion and sports. I was very wrong. I had used social media before but only for personal use, like telling everyone what I had for breakfast. However I have learnt that social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest can be used to educate and inform Sarah Murphy
Blogging is rapidly becoming a major form of communication within and beyond Higher Education. Students and teachers need to critically engage with this fairly new and evolving medium. As a flexible and creative medium, blogging has the potential to free us to learn and express ourselves in different and exciting ways.
A personal voice within a piece of writing is often denied to students, when writing academic essays, and in this sense blogging has been as much a creative outlet as a learning experience Katy Pickersgill
While few teachers in Higher Education have the skills and knowledge to introduce their students to many digital technologies and webdesign, blogging and related social media tools are relatively simple and easy to learn. On this site we aim to show how they can be used in undergraduate programmes for both learning and assessment.
Blogging has shown me that through the usage of online digital archives and resources… incredible amounts of history are at our fingertips and the possibilities for the development of historical commentary is escalating and becoming extremely accessible… Blogging is at the forefront of pushing this and I felt proud to be able to publish my research Aaron Molyneux
Why go public?
Most Virtual Learning Environments, such as Blackboard and Moodle, allow students to practice blogging, wikis, and discussion boards in a protected learning environment. However, there are many additional benefits to students learning and interacting in the ‘real’ digital world, not least acquiring online research skills and writing for a public audience.
Most importantly, I feel like the trust Liverpool John Moores University has placed in the students to write academically for an audience as broad as the online community has increased my confidence in my own writing Bethany Holligan
Preparing students to conduct online research and make their work suitable for a public audience is challenging; so too is managing multiple-author student blogsites, facebook pages and twitter feeds. The aim of this blog, therefore, is to help those of us who are trying out blogging in and beyond the classroom to find better ways of doing what we do.
We need to talk about blogging
On this site my students and I will share our experience and resources so you can learn from the highs and lows of our experiments. But mostly we hope it will be a space for students and teachers anywhere and in any discipline to exchange ideas about what works, what doesn’t, how to refine and develop existing projects, and think up alternatives.
If you would like to contribute to the blog, whether you are a teacher or student, have experience of blogging or not, please contact us via twitter @blogging_beyond or leave a comment. You can share your links or resources, offer a guest post, or comment on any of our posts.