Blogging is good. So is school. This we know. And when you put them together, they create something even better. This is the main point in Terra Williams and Charles Lowe's article, Moving to the Public: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom.
The article makes the argument that blogging can be an effective classroom tool. I agree. Not only does blogging provide an outlet for student creativity and expression, but it just makes more sense. In my Writing for the Internet class (which we all know and love), Dr. Jerz uses a class weblog to do basically everything. What makes a class weblog so useful is that students can access important information easily. Simply by clicking on the different levels of the blog, I can see the syllabus, my assignments, and important due dates. Without the blog, I would be completely lost.
Another element that makes class weblogs so useful is that student interaction. As stated in the article, blogging is a good way for students to share and learn more about each other. I know all of my Writing for the Internet classmates in person and in their blog. Blogging allows students to see another side of their classmates- a side they may not be comfortable sharing in class, but can write about freely on the Internet. Shy students may express opinions and ideas through a blog than in person.
Class blogs also allow students to help each other and receive help from the teacher. On the class blog I use, students post questions to assignments they do not understand. Dr. Jerz, and often other students, respond to the post and help the confused person. Without a blog, many questions might go unasked or answered.
The article also mentioned that students become more comfortable with blogging and sharing their work online for others to see. At first, I was a little nervous about blogging. I wasn't used to putting my class work out there for everyone to see and comment on. It was just between me and my teacher. Yet, after blogging, I like the idea of posting my work on the Internet. I enjoy seeing other's comments and know that they are just helping me do better- not criticizing me.
Weblogs are perfect for the classroom. They benefit both teachers and students, which makes the lives of each much easier. I wish I had blogs for more of my classes.Posted by VanessaKolberg at November 10, 2004 1:43 PM