more on blogs…

There’s been lots of talk about blogs as a “natural” tool for creating academic and social connections outside of the classroom and between students and faculty. There has also been a lot of discussion about using blogs as a way to encourage writing and “a voice”

Has anyone thought about the kinds of voices that these tools elicit from our students? Is it fair to say that the voice they use to post in their blog (and therfore the kind of language they use there) is a true indicator of their writing? Could it be that students might have a different voice on paper (i.e writing that is just between teacher and student) vs the voice that they put into their writing on a blog for all the world to see?

Yes, blogs encourage writing….lots and lots of writing. But is there depth? For some people maybe. But there will always be students for whom a blog is an uncomfortable place… how do we address that?

Are we making blind assumptions (again) about what our students will or will not like /gravitate towards/ embrace… are we assuming they are way more tech saavy than they really are?…sre we assuming that they want to be connected?… and are we mindul of the potential tradeoff between quality (depth) and quantity (shallowness) as we adopt these new tools?

Oh dear… have we been fooled again?

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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  1. Art Gelwicks · December 15, 2005 Reply

    There is no single solution! there is no single tool that will work for all. We are all aware of the uniqueness of the individual and the importance of teaching to that individual’s needs and strengths. For some blogging will never hold a place in their communications sphere. For others blogging will become a staple in their daily meals of interaction. For most it will fall somewhere in the middle.

    Have we been fooled by another technology? No. The foolishness would only come in when we believe we have found the singular technology, the “killer app” that will solve all the needs for our students. In prevention of such, we look, we evaluate, we use, and in many cases we discard.

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