Zawilinski’s article “HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking” gives an excellent overview of the potential benefits of blogs in the classroom for teaching Higher Order Thinking (HOT). She claims that the Internet is this generation’s defining technology for literacy and that this population is both self-guided and in need of guidance.
Classroom blogs help bridge the gap between out-of-school literacies and in-school literacies, and most importantly create an authentic audience for student work. Blogging can help develop online reading comprehension as students must analyze and critically evaluate information, synthesize across multiple texts and communicate with others. She identifies four types of classroom blogs: Classroom News Blog (syllabus, homework assignments, updates), Mirror Blogs (quotes, impressions, reflections, new ideas), Literature Response Blogs (question and response, summary, synthesis), and Showcase Blogs (student works in various media published). Integrating the blog into classwork could include these steps: Bolstering the Background (finding out what students already know, research projects on author and time period, lists of resources), Priming the Pump (first impressions, summaries, confusions clarifies, connections to themselves, other texts or the world), Continuing the Conversation (summarizing and synthesizing across multiple textual units and classroom discussion), and Making Multiplicity Explicit (requiring students to respond to others’ comments with evidence and clear explanations).
Zawilinski, Lisa. “HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking.” Reading Teacher (not yet published). University of Connecticut. New Literacies Team. Web. 7 March 2010.