Monday, October 09, 2006

Rethinking blogging... again

Joanna posted a response to my reflection on the semester that got me thinking. She said that she had decided not to blog with her students now since there are so many other options out there, like Writely.

I wonder if there isn't some wisdom in that. Blogging is, at its best anyway, a personal endeavor as the result of a personal commitment. Who was is it a year or so ago who said that blogging shouldn't be something students had to do but rather something they did because they wanted to? Is that true?

I wonder what it would be like, if it would be possible to offer students a variety of outlets for their work and let them choose the one(s) they wanted to use. If a student wanted to blog, he could. If he only wanted to post inside Moodle, he could. If another wanted to use Writely, she could. Would there be any value in that? I know it would be a nightmare to try to evaluate student work if it were spread over too many different repositories - unless you have as few students as I do. But would there be value in allowing students that kind of freedom?

3 comments:

Lesley said...

Thise are all question that I'm asking myself at the moment too.

joanna said...

I'm asking myself these questions because I'm delivering a talk on blogging with Basic Writers and I've realized that I don't anymore because the options are so much wider for online networking that it's no longer blogging publicly or wordprocessing alone.

Nathan Lowell said...

I suppose it depends on the point of the writing. I have my students blog because I want them contributing to the wider world outside of the classroom walls. When one of the people they've blogged about writes a comment in their blog, it makes them aware that a course-context isn't necessarily limited by the "four walls" -- physical or virtual.

I really like the ability to aggregate my students' writings in RSS but that's only an issue of my convenience. If we take away the "because it's convenient for the teacher" criterion, what else -- besides blog-or-not -- goes up for negotiation?