What are the skills our students learn when they blog? What are the 21st century skills they need to learn -- and can gain fluency with by blogging?
These are the questions left bumping around in my head after attending a couple of sessions at Edubloggercon at ISTE 2010 this year: Jim Gates's session on "Best Practices in Student Blogging," my (and Jim Gates's) discussion group on "Building Personal Learning Networks," and Kevin Honeycutt's entertaining "Conversational Lubricants." I know they learn tagging ("higher order thinking on steroids" according to Honeycutt), and tagging is a skill that is largely absent from their regular Internet lives. They learn to assess one another's blogs by commenting -- and they can learn to comment in more meaningful ways as a result. They learn to share ideas, to engage in intellectual discourse, to collect and make sense of ideas from others. They learn to expand their notion of the world. They learn to write with words and pictures and video -- and to have a point. They learn to think "out loud."
They learn to teach.