At CSR we have a bi-weekly series called "Comp Conversations" organized by our WPA. Some weeks she presents on a specific topic, and other weeks various faculty members present. I'm using the term "present" loosely here, because as the name indicates, the sessions tend to be casual conversations shared by faculty and adjuncts alike. It's a chance to talk "shop," which for us is pedagogy.
This week, I'm up. My mission is to talk about blogging in the writing classroom. I put together a resource sheet for those who attend, but given the nature of the topic, it seems crucial that there is a place where they can actually click on all of the links I am providing. So here it is!Various uses for Blogs:
List and explain class assignments; keep class news, announcements updated
Create a class blog with all of the students as the authors contributing to one blog
Continue with class conversation in writing
Use as a place for brainstorming and figuring out ideas
Create photo essays
Have students keep track of and link to current events or other material relevant to the course and/or their studies.
Post reading responses so that they can be shared with rest of class
Give students a forum that they may already be familiar and comfortable with (myspace, facebook users, etc.)
“Theme” blogs—student blogs on a single topic for the semester, creating connections (hyerlinks) between posts
Blogs allow for readership from the “outside” world, pushing the students to think about audience and rhetorical context, as well as creating an opportunity for dialogue that we so rarely get in other forms of writing. Resources: edublogs
: this site is a free source for hosting both your own blogs (as an educator as well as students blogs) using wordpressflock
: flock makes blogging easy as it integrates with programs like wordpress, blogger, livejournal, etc. Flock also provides an easy to use RSS reader. AcademHacK
: this is a blog about tech tools for academics. The site sets out to prove that technology should make teaching easier and more effective. HigherEd BlogCon
: “HigherEd BlogCon 2006 seeks to engage the Higher Education community in a conversation on the use of blogs, wikis, RSS, audio and video podcasts, social networks, and other digital tools in a range of areas in academe.”Blogs For Learning
: “Blogs for Learning is an online resource designed for students and instructors who are interested in instructional blogging. The goal of the site is to provide information and resources surrounding the technical, legal, and pedagogical aspects of blogging in the classroom.”BlogBridge
: essentially an RSS reader that helps you categorize and organize the blogs you read. bloglines
: allows you to subscribe to blogs (RSS), share your favorite blogs with friends, colleagues, etc., and publish your own blog as well. Blogs on blogging: Weblogg-ed
incorporated subversion BlackBoard and Blogging
Good Blog News
Nice article from a few days ago in The Seattle Times: Living: “Teachers are reaching out to students with a new class of blogs”
“Never in 25 years of teaching have I seen a more powerful motivator for writing than blogs,” [Mark] Ahlness said. “And that’s because of the audience. Writing is not just taped on the refrigerator and then put in the recycle bin. It’s out there for the world to see. Kids realize other people are reading what they write.”
Nice way to start the week…
Why Not Blog? Teaching Literature with Blogs The Urge to Link
A colleague at an Australian University showed me some details about where they’re going with Blackboard and blogs and oh dearie dearie me… it’s not a pretty place!
Specifically their “blog journal… [&] e-portfolio for teaching in the Autumn semester” is somewhat limited by the fact that:
“each blog will be subject bound (and it even has less functions than Blogger back in 2001) so at the end of the subject it all vanishes…..there’s no publicly published works - all secured behind the limits of students enrolled in that subject… [and more]”
Dontya just love the fact that they’re using a ‘blog journal’. I’m surprised they frickin didn’t call it a ‘blogg journal’ or my alltime favourite ‘BLOGG’ like it’s an acronym ;)
As my contact also points out the University in question is also somewhat seriously strapped for cash, and yet evidently has no problem heaping it out for these tools rather than taking the lead of many other excellent institutions and using open source tools.
And no, it’s not my place… As it happens some pretty exciting things are happening here in the OS social software sense… hope to be able to write more on that soon, it’s surprising where perseverance + time can sometimes get you!!!
(my blogs!): the most cakeExpos-i-story my blogging in ENG105 philosophy
(dan nester’s blogs): Daniel Nester’s Teaching ENG105 blog Spring 2006 LCC2400
(thanks daveExamples of a blogging portfolio:4040 blogMy First AttemptWhat some students have to say…
“Well okay I haven't released my name or anything, but now I'm more open to expressing myself andtalking about me and what's important to me. I have even decided to keep my blog after the class is over.” -- Pen and Ink