Almost invariably the first thing people do when encountering new technologies is to try and get it to do what the technologies they are used to do and this is no exception when it comes to blogs.Good insight and something I want to remember. So, he says not to try to use blogs as a discussion board, and he doesn't like group blogs at all.
More good insight on what NOT to do can be found over at The Blog of Proximal Development, where he says
Do not use blogs to replace writing or reader-response journals. If the only goal is to get students to write online what they would otherwise put in their notebooks, it's probably not worth the hassle. Blogs can do much, much more. Use blogs to enhance personal journals. Take advantage of the community-building potential. Let students work as a group of individual writers.
I think their advice is good, but I am not sure where it leaves me. Fortunately, James Farmer follows up with a post How you SHOULD use blogs in education He makes one point that I find quite useful. He says
You must incorporate blogs as key, task driven, elements of your course.It sounds almost obvious, but I don't think it is.
So here I am trying to find a reason for my students to blog rather than journal and a way to make blogging a key part of my class. Interestingly enough, I think I can find more reasons to blog in my reading class than in my writing class. But maybe I just need to put more thought into it. As I said, I am just getting to the point of actually trying to figure it all out for the fall.
Would anyone care to share how they are going to use blogs in the fall?