Blogging the Foundations of Math

Casey Douglas discusses his use of blogging in a Foundations of Math class. Blogs here replace the journals that had typically been used to get students to engage on a daily basis with the material. It is a good representation of a use for student blogging in a STEM environment. (html)

Casey’s comments about the practice mirror those of teachers in other disciplines, but a short summary of observations:

  • The core of blogging is daily reflection and application, getting students to think about the subject outside of class.
  • Offering pseudonymous blogging is important.
  • WordPress was chosen partially because of its excellent support for LaTeX, a key in math classes.
  • Students are initially reluctant to blog, because it’s a lot of work. But of course, that’s the point, it gets students to put in the daily effort they need to succeed.
  • Students are generally positive about blogging by the end of the class, because seeing what other students are doing helps them better understand the material and tasks. Some students remain negative, but those are the breaks.
  • Biggest unexpected benefit: reaching introverts.

Casey’s guide for his students on how to blog the Fundamentals of Mathematics is here. (html)

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Casey’s biggest piece of advice: Blog as a Learner Too.

3010tangents was a class blog for a math class.

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