Exploring Students' Motivations in Using Blogs at the Primary School Level

Exploring Students' Motivations in Using Blogs at the Primary School Level

Gina May Yuen Ong (Ai Tong School, Singapore) and Wing Sum Cheung (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/ijopcd.2015010103
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Blogs have been widely used in education for the numerous benefits the tool offers. Previous research has examined the use of blogs in various educational settings, but very few studies have been carried out at the primary level. This study explored students' motivations to use blogs in a primary school context. A case study approach was adopted and data were collected through online reflections, supported by and triangulated with data from face-to-face interviews. Findings revealed several reasons that motivated students to blog, and students' motivations to blog seemed to suggest that the students were subconsciously meeting one or more psychological needs, namely belonging, competence, freedom, and fun, and the need for competence was the most prevalent amongst students in this study. This study also provides teachers in the school to gain some insights into what motivated their students to use blogs when they design instructional activities in the future.
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Literature Review

There has been an increasing use of blogs in the educational context in the last 10 years (Downes, 2009; Edublogs, 2011; Sim & Hew, 2010; Xie & Sharma, 2004; Zeng & Harris, 2005). Blogs are personal online journals (Godwin-Jones, 2003) where the content is arranged as entries of text and hyperlinks (Vogel & Goans, 2005). The posts or entries are arranged in reverse chronological order, with the most recent post published at the top of the blog (Herring, Scheidt, Bonus, and Wright, 2004; Paquet, 2003; Vogel & Goans, 2005; Ward, 2004; Williams & Jacobs, 2004). This characteristic creates an expectation of updates that incites readers to visit the site on a regular basis (Paquet, 2003). A timestamp for each entry is also provided so the reader knows when it was posted (Vogel & Goans, 2005). Blogs are easy to use as no programming knowledge is required to post an entry online (Huffaker, 2005b; Zawilinski, 2009). The ease of use and access to blogs, together with the benefits of blogging, suggest that teachers could explore the use of blogs, especially for out-of-class teaching and learning.

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