Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blogging paper assistance

OK, I know you're all really busy with either midquarter or end-of-the-semester stuff, but for my academic technology job I've been working on a white paper on blogging. I should finish it up in the next week or two, and I'm looking for a few people to comment on it. Basically, it's a very scanty lit review and then an overview, with some case studies from hither and yon, of why faculty should (or should not) assign blogging to their students. It's an odd genre, the white paper, and I need some informal feedback from folks who either have had their students blog or who are up on the pedagogy of web 2.0. If you don't want to read the paper, but have blogged with your students and have thoughts to share on the whole shebang, please contact me or leave your esteemed opinions in the comments.

I have a couple of reviewers in mind, but I thought I'd solicit volunteer readers as well. If you're interested and have some time over the next month or two, e-mailez-moi at trillwing -at- gmail dot com, 'K?

Muchas gracias for your consideration.


Rose H-S said...

Hi - Am also a mom, dog-slave, PhD clutter-type, U.S. history and digital public history as a matter of fact. Some museum work, teach K-12, college, and adults. Lots in common! Stumbled onto this...great! I would love to review and offer comments. Congrats on the article; I have one coming out in June!

Rose H-S said...

Hi, Rose H-S again. I started reading further in your blog. We really do have a lot in common! I'm UC, too! And you are spot on re: strawberries (I work part-time for that Division of UC, and part-time for another campus). It's all about money. Camrosa's are grown extensively where I live in So Cal.

Leslie M-B said...

rose h-s, I'm glad you found me! I look forward to your help, and I've subscribed to your blog's feed. :)

Kate C. said...

I had students contribute to a blog this semester and it was a conditional success. The class was Men and Masculinities. In the past, for Women and Gender Studies courses I had students keep journals, tracking their response to the readings as well any other thing they felt compelled to write about, as long it in some way related to the course. (In these type of courses students are often wrestling with new ideas that challenge the way they think about the world, and having a place to write about those development strikes me as important.) The blog format is superior to the journal for several reasons--the students can read each other's work. they can comment on each other's work, I can access their work easily throughout the class, and I don't have 30 notebooks to tote around at the end of the semester. Some of the problems with the blog were technical. A lot of students claimed they did not get the inital invitation, although I cut and pasted their e-mail addresses into the invitation. Some invitations seemed to go into spam. I was using the new version of blogger, so they all needed to get Google accounts, which also was a little confusing and took some time. So, the whole thing took longer to get going than I had anticipated. There was also student resistance and apathy. Less than half the students regularly even read blogs before the class (which came as a shock to me), so there was not as much initial excitement about the project as I had hoped. I required them to post twice a week, and also comment twice a week. Despite the fact that they knew they will be graded on the blog entries (both on content and quantity of posts) some students rarely posted. Anyway, despite the challenges, the blog was still a useful part of the class. There were some interesting discussions and many shyer or quieter students used it as a way to contribute to class discussions. I am going to use a blog in very different type of classroom situation next semster. The Men and Masculities class was at a private college--I now have a full time job at a urban community college. I will be teaching Women's History in the fall, and the history electives tend to be small-10 students or so. I think the blog will be an even more unusual concept to these students, but because of the small number, I think it be doable and very valuable as well. From my earlier experience, I am going to make sure I have much more detailed directions--I may even try to reserve a media lab so I can walk the students through the signing up process. And I think I will participate in the comments conversation, to see if that encouages more participation.

Anyway, I hope this helps. (By the way, like Rose h-s, I am a Ph.D., American history and animal loving type (although a cat slave), with museum and public history experience, and I have been enjoying your blog for a while.)