Blogs So Far….

25 Jan

Just a quick update to the course blog to say that I have been able to read your blog posts so far and to remind you that your posts on Twitter are due by Thursday. I’ve tried to get a little ahead by posting the “lecture” on wikis. In case you have trouble accessing the wiki sites from Blackboard, two of the most prominent services are Wikispaces and pbWorks. Both feature free basic versions of their wiki service, but you may have to dig around to find the free versions. I’m missing one student’s blog address, but I just wanted to highlight some of the observations so far. I will try to create a blogroll in the sidebar, and just for practice, I’d like you to do the same.

Superintendent D has some observations about the possible effects on blogging and whether it might help students to improve their writing. I’ve become a little less confident about that as blogs and other forms of online communication have become commonplace. Students, for example, rarely worry about grammar or punctuation (or even social decorum in some cases) on their other social media profiles. Jamie raises some good points about Henry Jenkins’ “Why Heather Can Write” article. It’s pretty inspiring to see how writing for an audience can help some students to really get into that sort of work. Heather’s role as a mentor and activist is really quite impressive, even if she is a bit of an outlier. Adbijan has encountered one of the big problems that come up with social media tools–the learning curve for user-unfriendly sites. I know that it is unpleasant, but I think in some cases, it is valuable to learn from our “failures” as well as our successes.

I’ll add that it’s interesting to look at my article several years after I wrote it. I’m curious to know if there is any benefit to that form of public writing (at lest for students). In fact, I’ve become convinced that blogging may be more valuable as a way of communicating with peers at other institutions, in other words, as a way of sharing or finding resources. One goal for this course might be to find other teachers who blog about their teaching experiences and technology use and to follow them. Henry Jenkins’ enthusiasm for work done by people like Heather Lawler is still relatively strong (in fact, if you scroll through his blog, you will find a number of interviews with educators who use social media tools), although I think media scholars (including Jenkins) have seen the novelty wear off many of these tools.

One thing I noticed is that none of this week’s posts included a hyperlink, so in preparation for our work on wikis (which will have a bit of a learning curve), I’d like you to include at least two links in your post on Twitter.

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Welcome Post

8 Jan

This is the official course blog for Dr. Chuck Tryon’s English 518, Technology in the Language Arts Classroom, at Fayetteville State University. Some of the information about the course will be posted on Blackboard, but I will also be posting links and other readings here so that you will have easier access to stable URLs. If you have any questions about the course, feel free to contact me by email.