Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A good question

Nathan posted a great comment on my previous post and asked a good question:
If we take away the "because it's convenient for the teacher" criterion, what else -- besides blog-or-not -- goes up for negotiation?


Any thoughts?

4 comments:

Artichoke said...

I think the first thing to identify is your educative purpose for encouraging students to write online. Then it is easier to determine which application will most easily enhance this.

For example I love Konrad Glogowski's thinking about student blogging - blogging to give the kids an audience outside of teacher critique - and this is the important bit - so that they begin to develop their own voice.

I loved meeting Konrad at the FLNW un conference in New Zealand and learning how he carefully structured this blogging experience to build a sense of community before the kids started writing in their personal blogs. The changes he has tracked in his students writing through time are pretty inspiring.

Check out his blog of proximal development - has lots of great questions for teachers who like to think about the why of using information communication technologies.

joanna said...

Artichoke, I just went and skimmed the post, and it helped me see how to use blogging as a means of writing in school--I think the "carefully structured. . . .sense of community" is what I'm trying to achieve right now and Writely is useful for that. I've been thinking about moving blogging to the second-level basic writing course that I teach--my new mantra being "just because the technology exists doesn't mean that you have use it all in one course."
Nancy, to extend the blog musing that I've been doing this semester, I've been looking at things from the perspective of the new to college basic writing student who finds college unnerving, and while I want to introduce blogging in the class, I don't want to overwhelm.

Nancy McKeand said...

Artichoke, you have a good point about deciding what the purpose of online writing is. That should be our first decision -- not what technology to use. It is easy to forget, though.

Konrad does some great stuff! I have been reading him for a long time, but I am glad that you mentioned him here. I doubt there is anyone who reads my blog who doesn't read his, but you never know!

Nancy McKeand said...

Joanna,

I think you have hit on the same point I finally seem to have come to. For my ESL students, writing in English is stressful. Add writing for the public to that, and it is even worse. I think I will want to work into blogging with students more slowly than I have in the past. Maybe second semester, as you suggest.