Open Access

New Technologies in the University Context: The Use of Blogs for Developing Students’ Reading and Writing Skills

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education20129:9020185

https://doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v9i2.1160

Received: 15 May 2011

Accepted: 15 February 2012

Published: 15 July 2012

Abstract

Many studies have emphasised the difficulties that students have when it comes to dealing with typical reading and writing tasks in higher education. With advances in information and communication technologies, and the constant development of interactive and multimedia dynamics on websites and e-learning platforms, new alternatives can be used to overcome reading and writing problems. The use and potential of blogs, for example, has spread to the university context, including subjects and courses that specifically focus on reading and writing skills. While several studies have shown that educational blogs have both advantages and limitations, there is still a need to develop guidelines on how to facilitate learning through the use of this tool. An important step is to analyse the current use of blogs for specific educational purposes. In this respect, the aim of this article is to analyse, on the basis of an integral semiotic proposal (Álvarez & Álvarez Cadavid, 2010, 2011), a series of blogs in Spanish that aim to develop text comprehension and production skills. This study shows that most of the blogs analysed thus far tend to concentrate on information management and organisation processes, and include materials in which verbal aspects prevail.

Keywords

technology useseducational blogshigher educationreading and writing skills