The Use of Weblogs in Citizenship Education: A Theoretical Analysis of the Integration of Weblogs and the English Citizenship Curriculum
E-Learning and Digital Media Volume 11, Number 4, ISSN 2042-7530
New technologies have changed the way people perceive the world as well as access to knowledge. The ubiquitous influence of the Internet has also impacted traditional teaching in schools. According to existing studies, the weblog, or blog, is one of the most commonly applied new technologies in teaching due to its ability to allow a combination of text, photographs, videos and discussion forums on an interactive platform. Its influence is particularly keenly felt in language teaching, distance learning and natural science education. However, its use in the humanities, including history, geography and citizenship education, is relatively unexplored. The author discerns a strong connection between weblogs and citizenship education, and argues that they share the mutual objectives of transmitting knowledge, enhancing deliberative interaction, and cultivating participation and contribution, as well as generating a sense of community. While citizenship education is widely included in school timetables across countries to stave off social apathy and reverse the trend of ever declining participation in public affairs, the nature of blogging can be an effective tool to encourage information-sharing and opinion exchange between pupils as well as teachers, which may further stimulate participation and confidence in schools, the community and the larger society, and transform the acquired civic knowledge in class into real-life experience. This article investigates this issue by means of theoretical analysis and, in order to facilitate understanding, the author uses the English citizenship curriculum as an example to contextualise the theoretical arguments and demonstrate the integrative potential of the subject and this technological device. Not only are the advantages proposed in the research, but also possible disadvantages are illustrated, in order to bring additional attention to the detrimental effects that the new technology may have.
Hung, C.Y. (2014). The Use of Weblogs in Citizenship Education: A Theoretical Analysis of the Integration of Weblogs and the English Citizenship Curriculum. E-Learning and Digital Media, 11(4), 350-362.