Abstract 9-Volume 6, Number 2, Summer 2011

Leveraging the Affordances of Educational Blogs to Teaching Low-Achieving Students United States History

Meghan McGlinn Manfra
John K. Lee
North Carolina State University

Abstract

In this qualitative case study we explored the experiences of low- achieving students responding to an educational blog.  Our intention was to leverage the unique affordances of blogs to teach United States history concepts primarily by providing access to digital primary sources and facilitating on-line participation.  Overall, our findings point to the positive potential of blogs to enhance instruction with low-achieving students.  We found the integration of the educational blog provided an effective instructional format to differentiate content instruction and deliver “equity pedagogy.”  In this study student participation increased, students engaged in historical work (although tentative), and the resources activated their prior knowledge.   Rather than withholding Web 2.0 technologies from low-achieving students we encourage teachers to use them to meet the unique learning needs of all of their students.  With thoughtful scaffolding, it appears teachers might be able to leverage the unique features of blog-based activities to improve student experiences.

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