Thursday, June 24, 2010

Week 1: scaffolded Blogging

Following Deborah’s guide, the process of creating my blog moves smoothly. My colleagues also help me a great deal through their comments in the discussion board and through visiting their blogs. Actually, this is not the first time to blog. I created one before, but as I created it I stopped blogging. May be because there is no set goals for making use of it in my classrooms. Or because there are no clear instructions to create and use it effectively. This is what I found this time with Deborah. Sometimes, direct instruction is valuable as it builds a solid ground for doing tasks. Her scaffolding makes me on the right track.

The term Scaffolding was developed by Vygotsky. It is one of the social constructivism theory strategies. According to Peregoy & Boyle (1997: 80), scaffolds are “temporary supports, provided by capable people, that permit learners to participate in the complex process before they are able to do so unassisted. Once proficiency is achieved, the scaffold is no longer needed, and may be dropped.”

If we analyze this quotation, we will find that Deborah is our scaffolder. She gives us hand whenever we need it. As soon as we manage to do tasks individually, she leaves us to move alone.

This is related to the use of blogs in our classrooms. Through reading the course additional resources about blogs, I found three types: tutor blog, learner blog and class blog according to Campbell (2003). Available online at: http://iteslj/Techniques/Campbell-Weblogs.html.
I can create a tutor blog for my students. I can put some topics or links. I ask them to read these topics and analyze, evaluate and create their own ideas. I mean I can develop my students’ higher order thinking skills (HOTS). These skills are, according to revised Bloom’s taxonomy, analyzing, evaluating and creating (See Solomon & Schrum, 2007: 36). We focus a lot on LOTS (Lower order thinking skills – Remembering, Understanding and Applying) in our classrooms. Blogs provide students to practice the HOTS effectively.

Another area can be developed by bogs is writing. I can ask my students to work collaboratively and each group or pair creates a blog. They can write about their experiences, feelings, … etc. They can write, edit, and publish. I think it will be a great experience for them because they write for authentic audience, either their peers or other people.

Here is a video that emphasizes the need to more tools than just pencils and paper to teach writing in the 21 st century:

I’m sure that there are many areas in teaching English we can develop by blogs.I can see that in my coursemates blogs.

Resources Used:
  • Peregoy, S. & Boyle, F. (1997). Reading, Writing & Learning in ESL: A resource Book for K-12 Teachers. 2nd ed. New York: Longman.
  • Solomon, G. & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0 new tools, new schools. Washington, DC: International Society for Technology in Education.


  1. Hello Azhar,
    nice to meet you online:-)

    Thank you for introducing the term scaffolding. I agree with you that teachers should act as scaffolders. They need to be supportive when their students are introduced to a new task. Similarly, teachers also need a solid structure to rely on before they begin a new journey into the unknown.

    However, in many cases support won't be provided which by no means can serve as an excuse to withdraw from the journey. I strongly believe that even with nothing to hold on to and in spite of all the setbacks we should do our best to reach our goal.
    All the best

  2. Hi Arjana,

    I'm so happy to meet you too.

    Actually, I agree with you that we should do our best when there is no help. However, do you notice our work with each other? You know sonner or later we will do tasks individually. And this is the idea behind scaffolding to be guided first (by instructor or other colleagues), then you will create your own world.

    May be this can work well with our students. We just give them a light for their new world and leave them build it.

    Thanks Arjana for visiting my blog


  3. Hello, Azhar! it was very helpful to read your blog entries, especially about scaffolding and how it is possible to apply the blog in EFL. One idea immediately came to my mind- the guidelines for discussions and rubrics for evaluating. You do follow every requirements. Looks very professional, and I'd like to learn from you.

    Liliya K.

  4. Hi Liliya,

    How wonderful coursemates are you? Our class has many wonderful persons. I'm so happy to get this opportunity and be among you. You know I've read all the guidelines and instructions provided by Deborah many times. I think that if one wants to be successful, he/she should know well the obligations of any work he/she intends to do.

    There is something else I want to say, here we help and scaffold each other to reach one goal, that's to be creative teachers.

    So, step by step you will be creative and I'm sure you will do well in this course.


  5. Hi Azhar,

    I am so impressed by your writing… you are doing this in a very professional way… with quotes, with metacognition and deep thinking.

    One more thing! I also believe in Vygotsky's theory. And as you said "here we help and scaffold each other".


  6. Hi Khuloud,

    I think that writing is just like swimming. You need to practice it. As the proverb says "Practice Makes Perfect." Bit by bit you will do it.


  7. I totally agre with Khouloud, all loks very professional and so qualitative!!! I am glad to be among such specialits

    Good luck


  8. Dear Liliya,
    Thanks so much for your kind words. I just learn from your experiences and blogs. You know all your constructive comments help me to improve my writing and put me on the right track.

    Thanks again


  9. Dear Azhar,
    I am very thankful to you as you were the first to leave a comment on my blog! Now I know for sure my settings are correct! It was very important for me as I did it myself and for the first time! Thank you so much!
    You are always welcome to leave a comment!