Friday, January 28, 2005

Thinking about blogging and thinking

Having read Will Richardson's article, Thinking Like a Blogger, I am rethinking how I would want to do blogging with my students. Well, maybe not entirely, but a little at least. He talks about the value of blogging as an exercise in critical thinking.

Now, I must preface this by saying that he makes it quite clear that he isn't referring to journaling in an online environment. He considers that journaling rather than blogging, it seems. (My husband was happy to hear that!) He says that the act of going to other websites, looking for articles to link to and comment on, requires critical thinking. And that is why he thinks everyone should blog - at least for some period of time.

So, this got me to thinking about my advanced students. (I have none this semester, so it is thinking that I can't put into practice for awhile, but I am always planning ahead!) I would want to construct blogging assignments that would really capitalize on this aspect of blogging. As we write argumentative papers and summaries and other such academic-type papers, it would be very easy to include specific blogging assignments that would lend themselves to developing critical thinking and also to our specific assignments. At that level, I think I would really want blogging to be more than journaling. Or at least more than just journaling. I have to think about this some more.

Anyway, I thought it was an excellent piece. It really made me think about blogging a little differently. I recommend it to you all.


blog-efl said...

Hi Nancy

I like your summary of Will's article - I think it quite neatly focuses on the main thrust. I have tried using blogs with Advanced students, thinking the same thing - in fact, I thought that blogs would be perfect with a small group of Proficiency students. I was wrong, however, and these students just didn't take to blogging at all.

I think it was partly my fault (the way blogging is presented to students really does matter a lot), and I need to think about it some more to understand whyy they didn't like it. I'll go back to trying again with Advanced learners though, as I definitely think blogging has a lot of potential here.

Anonymous said...

You know, I didn't think of linking to other sites as a necessary component to blogging. Then I realized that, so often after I've written what amounts to a rant, I try to justify my writing by linking to other sites that offer support of my claims. That's certainly a critical thinking skill. Good point here, something I hadn't considered, even though I practice it a fair amount.

So what's the requirement, then? That students must link to at least X number of other sites throughout their blogging?