Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Blogging as academic writing

Jo's post about constructing an academic life really got me thinking. She says,

But there is still a disconnect between what bloggers think we'’re doing and what many academics think of blogging. The lack of editors and other gatekeepers, and the lack of peer review make the knowledge production of edubloggers suspect in some people'’s eyes. This is strange I think since blogging is not so much a technique, as a space where people write and are read, where readers can comment and writers review. Isn't this what learning is about?

I think she makes an excellent point, and I wonder what we can do to change perceptions of blogs in the academic world.

It seems to me that we would have a hard time getting blogs accepted as the equivalent of an article published in a peer reviewed journal. But couldn't it be considered the equivalent of a conference presentation, which often go through a less rigorous review process? The audience provides a type of peer review. To demonstrate audience, we could show the numbers of comments, for instance. In my case, at a very small college where things are pretty loose in some ways and we have no tenure anyway, this just might work.

Has anyone tried to get their blog accepted by their institution as academic writing? If so, I would love to hear about it.

And then there is always the other question: Is this even worrying about? I am certainly not blogging for anyone but myself. Every time I blog, every time I read another edublog, I learn something valuable. Maybe I should just be happy with that.


Sue said...

I'm currently at teacher's college (taking a side-step on my way to PhD...long story) where I am bombarded by requests for reflections from professors. How much more meaningful things would be if I could just refer everyone to my blogs (http://newmediaworkshops.com/telblog/ & http://teacherintraining.edublogs.org/) ...but alas!

Finally, I got fed up in one class, when I was asked, for another 'fake' reflection (that was going to land on a teacher's desk along with 500 others) - I decided to see if one of blog postings would suffice...I should have known the answer would come back as, "If it meets the requirements of the assignment" - typically, I don't reflect to meet the requirements of an assignment so it was a risk to send it in.

I got dinged for not following protocol but received one of the better marks in the class at 7/10 for this posting... http://newmediaworkshops.com/telblog/?p=68

Although this is not on the level of getting recognition in the professional world of academia, it does suggest that 'personal/professional' blogs will start to play a part at both levels of the profession (student & professor).

Marco Polo said...

Why do academics not get blogging? The lack of editors and other gatekeepers, and the lack of peer review make the knowledge production of edubloggers suspect in some people'’s eyes. When academics hob-nob over coffee or beer, when they discuss books, presentations, lectures, conferences, etc., over lunch or dinner or on the train or in the car afterwards, when they write in their journals or when they simply lean back, stare at the ceiling and ponder, are they concerned at these times about "the lack of peer review, the lack of editors and other gatekeepers"?! Fortunately, there are plenty of people who DO get it. Forget the rest!