If someone is going to teach music composition, is it necessary that they have composed a song themselves? Should a drama teacher have acting experience? Do you need to be a poet to teach someone to write poetry?
Should someone who is instructing others to blog actually be a blogger themselves?
Now, before someone accuses me of going over the top on the pretentiousness scale, I’m not trying to equate what happens around here with any kind of artistic achievement.
These are simply questions that have been buzzing around my strange little mind lately as the overly-large school district opens the gates on some walled-garden blogging tools for our staff.
On one hand, I can see where the answer to my question would be no.
After all, blogging is just another form of writing, very similar to essays that students have written for their English teachers over the centuries. Writing is writing, right? At least when it comes to non-fiction.
But then many have associated blogs with journalism, so maybe someone should have a reporter’s background to teach the process. Or that of an editorialist or critic. They award Pulitzers for that kind of stuff.
Possibly blogging is not something that can be taught. It could be a random process where a potential blogger just starts writing, while at the same time reading other blogs, and learns by trial and error.
I’m pretty sure most of us picked it up through a combination of experimentation and following the lead of others.
I have more rambling questions but everyone’s probably clicked off to somewhere else and I’m talking to myself. Happens a lot. :-)
All of this is simply part of the thought process as I prepare a session I’m presenting twice next week about using the new blogs and wikis modules our IT group has bought and shoe-horned into our Blackboard system.
I want to go beyond the click-here mechanical training (especially since the tools are pretty basic) and spend most of our time on why a teacher, or anyone else, would want to try using this form of writing.
And how do teachers and their students learn to use it as a communications tool.
So, I’m off the read more from the bloggers and/or educators I respect to see if there are any answers I’ve missed along the way.