“ A February 20074 reports published by the Pew Internet & American Life Project noted that at least 3 million American have created blogs, with similar numbers being seen worldwide. “ (Stephen Downes, 2004)
As other web 2.0 technologies, blogging can be used in a various way. Some people use blogs to share their daily life, some people use blog as a creation of course projects, some people use blogs to be their learning journals. All these bloggers share one common feature which is using blogs as a communication tool to exchange ideas with others. Not only exchange ideas with others, these bloggers present their own personalities by creating their personal blogs which reflecting different writing styles, contents selection, or the links they provided for their readers. There is another common tool we often see in these blogs which is “RSS” feed. RSS stands for Rich Site summary or Real simple Syndication. Like subscribing newspapers or magazines in the real world, readers subscribe blogs they are interested in. Once bloggers update new articles, these new updates will automatically download to your computer or mobile gadget. In other worlds readers don’t need to go back and check each blogs individually. This function does save time, but we discuss whether it is good or bad in terms of learning process.
Our concern is that maybe due to the convenience of the information retrieving, students no longer need to search the information, and make some efforts to get the information. We say that by exploring the internet resources, students can develop the so call “21st century skills “(Schrier, 2006) as follows:
• Information Management skills
• Media Fluency skills
• Communication skills
• Critical thinking and problem solving skills
• Enthusiasm, creativity, and curiosity
• Consideration of multiple perspectives
• Teamwork and collaboration skills
• Self-direction, responsibility and reflective learning skills
• Social, Global, and Community Awareness
However, if students become lazy and take those automatically download function for granted, they will lose their motivation to practice and conduct the above skills. As a consequence they lose their chance to develop 21st learning skills. Though this is also my concern, I have a positive attitude. I think maybe these skills will still be developed unconsciously. After all, nowadays, we know that student can not only learn from formal education but informal education.