Metablognition

A participant in a recent conference on blogging and education coined the term metablognition to describe a new educational paradigm for blogging:

I selected the term metablognition for this course because I like to think about weblogs as another layer of thinking for teachers and students. There are class discussions, private conferences and conversations, interactions with all types of texts, response journals, all sorts of formal and informal writing assignments that take place in the classroom. What if we were to consider the blog as another part of our classroom brain, another lobe where different elements of our learning and teaching are synthesized, questioned, rejected, combined, altered etc.? Think of it as a digital zone of proximal development. Bruning coined the term metacognition to describe the knowledge that people have about their own thought processes. If we value our students understanding of themselves as readers, writers, historians, scientists, mathematicians and citizens of the world, I think we have to find real, structured places and moments for them to step aside from the daily work of learning to get a larger perspective. And, even more importantly, we need a space where students and teachers can lable those perspectives with words and images. Since blogs are asynchronous, and easily accessible and transformable, they are the best avenue that I’ve seen for this sort of awareness to develop in classrooms. How many times do you drive, or walk home from school and for a brief fleeting moment you think you have it all figured out, something has happened in the classroom that was truly wonderful, and you sort of float for bit, reveling in the joy of doing something well. For me, unless I talked to a colleague, or wrote an email message, or jotted something in my journal, that moment was gone forever, swallowed by the other zillion concerns about grades, absences, floppy disks and the little blue squares in the lesson plan book. And, as I’m finding at this very moment, technology has brought us a fairly simple tool to hold on to those moments.

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