Discussion Notes:
The Public Course Blog: The Required Reading We Write Ourselves for the Course That Never Ends, TREVOR OWENS
and
Blogs and Blogging: Text and Practice AimeƩe Morrison



Ongoing Learning
  • Course blogs can be "extended" and built upon, rather than "reset" at the end of the semester. Makes what the students say/write relevant.
    • The Prof. isn't doing the same thing "over and over."
    • Student reactions / contributions feed into and exert change over the next semester.
    • An archive for all.
  • Authority - the author / student develops some credibility in the area about which they are writing. Makes the student text "the center."
  • "Originality" - our original ideas or the ownership we take in an idea must take into account a prior context. So it's a good idea if students can see who came before them.

Audience
  • Writing for a "real" audience and not just for the the professor. It should be for others, and beyond the semester. Learning continue.
  • Writing for a "real" audience (or multiple audiences) makes for good writing practice.
    • This is consistent with a de-colonization of knowledge (teaching us that we can take ownership and share with others)
  • Beyond style, it informs what you write about and why.
  • ?? Is Dr. Sherwood your audience, really??

Interaction / Confidence - Authorship
  • Expression and agency fostered
  • Space - each writer has the time/space to develop his/her own ideas, even if there is not time enough to make the comment during class. It makes them authors.

Social Dimension
  • dialogue among students
  • helps student writers (and those within the discipline) learn to communicate to others who aren't specialists in the field

Learning Style
  • Participatory writing allows students to engage from multiple perspectives, and thus enhance their own learning.
  • Could be a useful space for reflective writing (a kind of progress portfolio) - depending on how it is used.

Digital Literacy
  • Status of blogs (official, trustworth?) creates an opportunity, makes for teachable moments in information literacy.

Blog Reading / Access /
  • Reading others' blogs can provide a more friendly point of access to a new set of ideas.



Counterpoint

Q: Is blogging really different from or better than simple "oral dialogue" in a class?

R: It documents the discussion, allows us to revisit.

Q: What are the style conventions of the blog? Is it too informal? Is practicing informal writing of benefit to students? Isn't this against the academic writing conventions that we must teach?
R: The teacher of a course blog needs to simply enforce the necessary standards (like, for instance, insisting on documentation).

Q: How is the blog used? Is it personal, group? Is it a record of the students own writing?

Q: Authority. Can we cite blogs in academic writing?
A: Context? [ The MLA has conventions for citing blogs ]