Blogging conversation outline

As promised, a brief overview of what I said/will say (I'm posting this before the actual session) about the pedagogical use of blogging.

1. what can you do with blogs?
  • encourage wrestling with the material outside of the classroom
  • introduce additional material "as it happens"
  • promote interaction between students
  • improve the quality of class discussion
  • encourage students to enter into wider conversations
  • emphasize personal expression and self-crafting
  • engage in meta-commentary
2. why do this with blogs?
  • publicly accessible
  • part of the broader 'Net/blogosphere
  • emphasis on the conversational element
  • "column"-discussions, as opposed to the steps or branching trees afforded by a traditional bulletin board
  • much easier to incorporate hypertext elements (links, graphics) into posts
  • customizability of appearance
  • availability of end-user client programs for composition
3. how do you do it?
  • have a rubric with clear expectations
  • "blogging groups" are a useful tactic for larger classes
  • blogger.com is free, easy, and did I mention free?
  • comments are crucial; I like haloscan
  • make sure to maintain your own blog
  • visit student blogs regularly and engage them in conversation via comments
  • pass back and forth: draw blog discussions into the classroom, suggest that classroom conversations be continued on the blogs
[Posted with ecto]

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