Our friend Jim Mahar, a genuine finance blog pioneer, has company now.
Indeed, Professor Christopher Westley of Jacksonville State University runs several blogs for his students: a Money and Banking blog, a Principles of Macroeconomics Blog and a Principle of Microeconomics blog.
Christopher Westley explains in simple terms why he has decided to run blogs for his classes:
"Because sometimes textbooks, study guides, study sessions, copies of previous tests, coffee, and a 12-story library just aren't enough."
The other day I was asked at a conference dealing with e-learning and new technologies in teaching what the balance between the classroom (physical that is) and the virtual sessions should be. As a matter of fact, I do not think there is a unique answer to this. What I answered though is that professors when they blog are viewed differently by their students. Indeed, more often than not, students do not really know what professors do when they are not in the classroom teaching. With blogs they know.
Think for instance of Professor Walter Baets's blog. Walter shares his views, his comments on the press and reports on the conferences he attended to. His report on Cité de la Réussite triggered 28 comments. In the course of doing so, Walter gets closer to his students and this is without a doubt beneficial when he walks into the classroom.
Technology in education does not have to be disruptive to be efficient. However blogs linked to classrooms are "incrementally disruptive": They change a lot of things but these changes are not intrusive. They help the learning community to know itself better.
By the way Christopher, don't forget to release the RSS feeds (syndication links) for your blogs!