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Call It What It Is. So, What Is It?

If we are going to have our students write blogs, shouldn’t we call it blogging?

Not online writing. Not digital journals. Not personal publishing.

That’s what Miguel wants to know. And he says we should be upfront with parents (and ourselves) not only about the label but also about what we’re doing.

If blogging is, as many attest, all about conversations, facilitating collaborative analysis, synthesis and evaluation of concepts introduced online, aren’t we doing something DIFFERENT than what typically goes on in schools? And, if it isn’t different than what we’re doing in schools, then why are we doing it?

This relates back to earlier rants discussing how to define the term blog.

Before blogging becomes accepted as the conversational tool Miguel describes, we need to clearly explain the instructional purpose for using it in the classroom (podcasting, too).

More importantly, as he also notes, we need to establish why this DIFFERENT tool is better than whatever we’re using now.

Considering that typical school writing assignments are largely artificial and divorced from reality, it shouldn’t be difficult.

Convincing a tradition-bound educational system to change? That may be a little harder.

blogging, school, writing

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2 Comments

  1. Exactly! Blogging is personal, not just a bunch of folks writing professionally. The style is different than traditional writing, but it’s easier for big publishers (District Administration, as you point out) to just take traditional articles and publish them in “blog format.”

    But publishing online using blog engines isn’t blogging…it’s publishing on the web. If the old AUP fits, then it isn’t blogging. Blogging is about conversations, introspection and connecting one’s experiences.

    Thanks for making the connection,
    Miguel

  2. I took a class about blogging for teachers through the New York City Writing Project this past summer. Through this class, we developed our own blogs and thought about ways that we could bring blogging into our classrooms.

    As a high school ESL teacher, I think blogs would be a great way to promote language use and interaction in English in a high-interest way. However, when I mentioned the idea of a blog class to my principal, she said “Oh, I don’t know if we can teach blogs to students. I have to check on that…”

    Why is blog a dirty word in schools?

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