Recipients of eSchoolNews' "Best of the Education Blog" awards spoke on an panel at the awards dinner and pronounced weblogs' impact "profound" and "transformative," the publication reports.
"Kids are getting excited and engaged in literacy through blogging, commenting, and sharing ideas" online, said Wesley Fryer (pictured) of the Moving at the Speed of Education blog.
There is an excitement that comes from writing for a real, authentic audience instead of a circular file seen only by the teacher, Fryer said, adding that this thrill can be a huge motivator for students.
Reading the vast amount of edu blogs out there - or at least skimming them via RSS - ""has been transformative" from a professional development perspective, said Bill MacKenty, whose MacKenty.org blog won for best instructional blog for teachers.
MacKenty also praised what he called the "purity" of blogs as a communication tool, saying, "It's not about...who you are, or the color of your skin--it's about what you have to say. There's something utterly beautiful and noble about that."
Ultimately, the panelists said, educators and administrators should get over the baggage of the word "blog" and look at it as an easy-to-use two-way communication tool.
It's not about the technology, they explained; it's really about communication and the sharing of ideas, which has always existed--this is just a new form of doing it.
"Just do it," Frank LaBlanca, who blogs on applied science research, said. "This technology is so easy to use and so accessible--even if you're technophobic, it's something you can do."