WRITING ONLINE: USING BLOGS AS AN ALTERNATIVE WRITING ACTIVITY
Computer advocates need to understand cultural change if their cause is to succeed. Teachers should be assured that computers cannot replace them but can empower them and their students. It should also be emphasized that computers can be used to increase, rather than decrease, human interaction in the classroom. Teaching and learning English is not easy. This study tried to explore the benefits of using technology especially computer assisted instruction in the classroom in teaching Communication Arts English or English as a second or foreign language.
Computers in schools are used in many ways. Computers are used in drills and practice lessons such as problem solving and word processing. It is also used for leisure, research works, visual aid, tutorials, grading system and college and board examinations. Through computers, students can travel around the world and see the great attractions of different countries and learn more about the people and their place.
According to the paper, the birth of Blogs opened a lot of opportunities for language learners to express and share their ideas with the boundless internet community. Blogs quietly entered the World Wide Web in the late 1990’s, but because of its rapid popularity among individual writers who wish to share their thoughts on line, web designers started to develop blogs sires that are easier to create and maintain. Armstrong and Retterer (2008) explains that Blogging software began to appear designed to enable individuals to published their own web blogs quickly and easily and without the previous HTML coding requirements. As Blood (2002) explained, with the advent of these applications, the web blog, unlike a webpage, required little technological sophistication and was therefore accessible to many different types of audiences.
Soven (1999) explains that “by the time most students enter high school they are beginning to dislike writing.” This may be attributed to the fact that learners begin to realize the demands of writing. As students work with their outputs, they start to notice that there are various factors such as Mechanics (spelling, capitalization and punctuation) and Grammar that should be carefully checked. Moreover, students begin to shift their attention to other tasks that are assigned to them, in language classes and in other subjects.
The search for the ‘holy grail’, so to speak, of teaching writing led to the development of various approaches to teaching writing. Related to this search is the growing demand to develop and improve the writing competencies of learners. Thus, it is imperative for language teachers to be equipped, not just with the knowledge regarding the different approaches that have been utilized by teachers, but also with the skills of implementing them, given the variety of learners that teachers may encounter at a given point of time. Thus, the process genre approach trains learners to become “analyzers” and “creators” of texts. They are taught to look into the different characteristics of texts written according to specific purposes and to process these characteristics they create their own text.
We, as teachers, should help, support, advocate and start our goal to achieve quality education through teaching our students the way they learn and by keeping breast with the latest trend that teenagers are interested with. With this, blogging maybe used as writing activity for them. And here are the advantages and disadvantages of writing online.
10 BENEFITS OF WRITING ONLINE
1. Blogging is the great way to communicate and experience the web.
2. It elevates students beyond the mundane of writing activity in classroom and encourages them to search for more adventures in life.
3. They escape the shadow of predictability which is monotonous and familiar. Once in a while, it’s good to have thrills and surprises to add pictures in their blog.
4. It gives vitality and sense of playfulness and makes them excited everyday to look for the comments they receive in their blog.
5. It serves as a powerful source of nourishment in their social life.
6. It challenges their creativity and creativity gives joy and joy puts challenge in their writing skill.
7. It drives and motivates them to achieve what they want in life.
8. It helps them grow because they improve their hidden talents and skills in manipulating computer and the internet.
9. It directs them to new perspective and angles of life and realities based on the new information they gain from internet.
10. It helps them to get in touch and get to know themselves more because writing is one best way to self-awareness.
MEANWHILE, THERE ARE TWO SIDES OF THE COIN. THERE MAYBE DISADVANTAGES OF WRITING ONLINE. HERE THEY ARE:
1. Not all students can afford the cost of blogging for economic status tells the viability of web.
2. Not all students are computer proficient. It means, before a teacher decides to use blogging as writing class activity, he/she should know that students are quite adept in the use of software and hardware computer.
3. Freedom of speech is somehow abused because some derogatory words or offensive language maybe used when they write. It’s important to never post something that they might be afraid will come back to them.
Moreover, as English teacher, I should strive to achieve new ways of thinking, feeling, doing, becoming and being as my goal to contribute to quality education. With this visionary, engaging and transformative information on education, I may bring out the best in our students by adapting new teaching styles like writing online.