Two of the biggest assignments from third quarter in AVID were a curiosity assignment and a short story assignment. The curiosity assignment required that students write 100 questions about anything they wanted. They did this on paper and then we added their Top 10 to their student blog after we put them in categories. For the short story, we looked at a picture and went through a writing process. They typed their stories into their blogs.
In the reflections that student's wrote, only one person out of my 52 AVID students even mentioned their blog. The technology is not the key to learning. Good teaching and high levels of student engagement in the activities makes for good learning.
Using blogs, wikis and Acitvexpressions in class is just gravy (or whipped cream or cherries, depending on your analogy). Technology makes it easier for me to teach, engage, give feedback, and share with others. It makes the students more interested in coming to school and completing work.
Technology is gravy. Good teaching comes first.