Friday, February 13

Looking at comments across the blogosphere of my courses, I find that I need to say more about why we are blogging. Apparently I haven't made it clear enough yet, though for thoughtful input on the issue see penetration station. There are several reasons.
1) Blogging gives us an avenue for dialogue to continue outside of class.
2) Blogging creates a space for students to share reflections on what happens inside of class as well as on how ideas in class relate to experiences outside of class.
3) Blogging encourages students to become more cohesive as a class, by getting to know each other's concerns. It engenders community.
4) Blogging allows for the sharing of expertise related to class assignments.
5) Blogging encourages the habit of "producing" and "sharing," rather than always just "consuming," news, information, and observations.
6) Blogging allows for me, as teacher, to have a real-time record of student progress on projects, and a continually updated source of feedback about how I'm doing in the classroom.
7) Blogging allows the blogger to have an electronic diary, a record of his or her thoughts that is arranged chronologically and is accessible from any web-connected computer.
8) Blogging is rapidly supplementing traditional forms of communication both in terms of how people get their news and in the context of how business organizations communicate. For those of you who regularly complain that assignments in classes often don't relate to the outside world, you guys in particular should be embracing blogging. And see my earlier post linking to a story about blogs at Harvard.

Most of you seem to have no problem finding topics to post on and others to link to. For those of you who need more specific guidance, here are some suggestions:
1) Post about what you thought about what happened in class that day. If it is not a class day, post about your progress on course-related projects or assignments.
2) Post about a particular issue that interests you. One student regularly posts on gay rights issues, another on political news in general, several on their daily experiences with Denison social life, etc. Even the blog conversations that take place between athletics team members and frat/sorority members are interesting.
3) Link to a classmate's post that says something that made you think. It doesn't have to be something related to your own post. I have given you permission to link to posts on blogs belonging to students in my other classes as well. That means you have over 90 blogs to link to, each with many different posts. Surely you can find SOMETHING to link to.
4) Choose to blog on one of the many good topics offered by the universe of wigglebeewoo.
5) Hang on! Starting next week I will be assigning more specific blog topics. I wanted you guys to get used to the medium first.