Academic Blogging

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In this weeks readings by Davies & Merchant (2007) Chapter 8: Looking from the inside out: Academic blogging as new literacy they had three main points. Publishing the Self, The Nature and Fabric of the Text, and Social Networks. The chapter talked about blogging and why people blog. The want to share information, about themselves, and keep journals. They discussed blogging as a social interaction how on the internet people come together in their affinity  spaces and they can share and discuss on topics they are interested in. A term that was new to me was Autoethnography is a form of qualitative research in which an author uses self-reflection and writing to explore her personal experience and connect this autobiographical story to wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings according to Wikipedia. I think this is what blogging is. People are writing about themselves, their experiences, what is happening around them, and what they are interested in. They are reflecting/journaling about their lives. They are doing this for the world to read. They are leaving behind a story of their life which is a lot like an Autobiography.

What I found difficult to agree with is how they evaluated the blogs. If you are evaluating yourself there is always some bias. They know their perspective and what they want people to get out of the blog so that will always be bias towards that. It would be interesting if a third party evaluated the blogs, writers, followers, and comments to see if they get the same results.

One thing that stood out to me was blogging being like a journal. I have always thought blogs were like public journals but it did not really hit me until last week that you can use this in the classroom. I like the idea of students creating their own blogs. They can journal in a way that is meaningful to them. This will solve several problems 1: I will not have to take home 30 student journals to read, 2: students will be able to practice their typing skills, 3: students will most likely already have an online presence so blogging will have more meaning to them.

The article I found is called OK, Google, Where Did I Put My Thinking Cap?. It is an NPR article about critical thinking and Google. In the article a teacher explains that they gave a prompt to the class and instead of thinking about the question they just Googled it. The teacher states that students are not thinking critically any more because they can just look up the answer.

I agree and disagree. I think Google has given us access to more information so that we can read several articles about the topic, think critically and then make our own conclusion. But also there is something to be said to try and figure out the problem first then using Google.

The teacher states that it is not using technology it is how we use technology. That teacher started Teach Thought. Teach Thought is dedicated to helping teacher implement technology in the classroom.

This article struck me because after reading this week’s chapter I realized how much students are writing online, and how many people can read what they are writing. I was to be able to have my students think critically, write about what they are learning and post it online. Once I have the blogging going in my classroom it would be interesting for them to evaluate themselves like in the article. What are they writing about, who is following them, what are the comments about, are they building an affinity space of their own.

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