Technology has changed the way people do things in numerous ways. It has turned the world into a global village where people can communicate and share information from different geographical locations. A number of communication platforms have emerged over the years as a result of technological advancements. They have resulted in better communication, service delivery, information management, and academic research. One such platform that has had a huge influence is a blog.
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It refers to a shared on-line journal where people can post daily entries about their personal experiences and hobbies (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012). The content posted in a blog applies to chronological order. Technology experts argue that the emergence and popularity of blogs is an indication of the dynamic nature of people’s needs in contemporary society. Over the years, people have used blogs for various purposes that include carrying out research for educational purposes (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012).
Theoretical basics, benefits, and challenges of contemporary academic research
Research has been part of people’s lives for several years. One element of research that has evolved over the years is the means of conducting educational studies and sharing their outcomes. The concept has developed from simple oral communication during public meetings to the documentation of the information in books. Most researchers used to keep their reports and other resources in public libraries where people could access them conveniently.
However, technology has enabled researchers in the contemporary world to use better means of sharing information through platforms such as scholarly journals (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012). This platform has helped to build knowledge among different stakeholders. Other benefits of blogs with regard to educational research include increased creativity, better teamwork, regular publication of information, and ease of addressing issues that may arise due to any published information.
Education experts argue that the future of blogs with regard to influencing educational research is very promising. The reason for this is that the academic world responds positively to the changing needs of the people across the world (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012). However, they believe that all stakeholders have to work closely in order to identify any limitations.
Some of the notable limitations that such bloggers deal with include authenticating publishers, the safety of shared data, duplication, unreliable reward systems, and lack of enough motivation for the authors (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012). Stakeholders have also raised their concerns over the manner in which blogs are likely to affect the quality of research. Most of them feel that the quality may be lower due to the lack of critical insight into research questions.
The role of blogs in overcoming traditional limitations in academic research
Education in the contemporary world is quite advanced compared to a couple of decades ago. Institutions of higher learning across the world have embraced technology by introducing various services such as online degree programs, e-learning portals, and journals (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012).
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Although blogs are still in their early stages of development with regard to their reliability in educational research, experts argue that stakeholders in the education sector need to overcome any possible limitations and achieve better collaboration among scholars around the world. Bloggers have the ability to help authors and researchers improve the quality of their work through the responses given by readers.
The ability of bloggers to develop content for a specific domain helps people to develop a connection built upon a shared interest (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012). Hostility in online communication platforms is a common challenge that bloggers across the world deal with regularly.
Bloggers can use the ability to block comments from unregistered users as a platform for improving the quality of shared information. The reason for this is that anonymous comments often focus on discrediting an article published on a blog. However, experts argue that having limitations on blog membership can also have negative effects on knowledge development due to low participation (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012).
Blogs also allow users to develop prolonged and beneficial academic collaborations through online journals. It is hard to develop such a connection using the traditional means, as people rarely interact with each other.
Blogging allows users to achieve information literacy through meaningful contributions that influence greater reflection on the content shared. It is important to understand that the real potential of blogs in educational research can only be achieved through inclusive participation of the global academic community (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012).
Importance of blogs to the community of higher education researchers
According to education experts, the potential influence that blogs are likely to have on higher education researchers will largely depend on the ability to protect the intellectual rights of authors (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012). Authors and researchers struggle with the challenges of piracy and increased plagiarism of their work across the world. Therefore, it is important to ensure that information shared through blogs is highly protected in order to ensure that everyone gets the reward they deserve.
For example, some established authors can find it hard to share an idea of a book they are writing on a blog because they lack familiarity with all the other users.
The same case applies to researchers who would risk jeopardizing their studies by sharing their challenges, limitations, and anticipated results in a blog whose level of professional contribution is highly questionable (Bess & Bouwma-Gearhart, 2012). However, it is important to note that blogs add value to academic research by allowing numerous people to develop knowledge from the information shared.
Bess, J.L., & Bouwma-Gearhart, J.L. (2012). The transformative potential of blogs for research in higher education. The Journal of Higher Education, 83(2), 249-275.