At last we have a strong evidence of the usefulness of blogging. The National Literacy Trust has published a research, "Young people's writing: Attitudes, behavior and the role of technology" which had involved over 3,000 young people. Those who had blogs and were engaged in social networks had more positive view of their own writing abilities and were more likely to enjoy writing. To learn more about the research, follow the links below (the shortest reports are in the beginning, but if you have time, read the third one):
- http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/research/Writing_survey_2009.pdf (PDF, report itself)
The most insightful educators and librarians have been saying for some time that information empowerment is the way ahead. This means to move away from the old style of controlling learning, reading, "information consumption" - away from broadcasting and transmitting - towards more open discovery, sharing, collaboration, trust- & skill-building. It's not good enough to create a website where only PR people can present the picture of a particular institution. It's dull, unattractive to the most of people and ultimately useless. A much better approach is to involve the "consumers" into becoming creators of content, storytellers... how great would be a story of a school told by its learners! Yes, it's more difficult than just a PR monologue, it requires imagination and a lot of networking, but this would ultimately be what we all in education - whether teachers, librarians or PR staff - are for: to empower our learners, to help them to discover their voices and individual skills.
Personally, I have not mastered that imagination yet... I am trying to imagine how I could do it. Meanwhile, everyone is welcome to comment on my post here, write "guest posts" and join the library's Facebook page, facebook.com/library.nwhc, to contribute to our shared pool of skills and knowledge.
Gosh, I love blogging! And it's getting easier and more rewarding with time.