As we search and sift while reading online we’re confronted by an endless torrent of text, hypertext, and multimodal content. As technology progresses, this information source ebbs and flows, but for the most part we’re witnessing the evolution of what will become a steady stream of CONTENT that we’ll use as the dominant text for reading, writing, and communicating. One type of this source of information is the weblog, or as we’ve come to know and love it…the BLOG.
Blogs are online (usually) multimodal journals that are (somewhat) regularly updated. People have a multitude of reasons for blogging. In some of our classes here in the Education Department, we’ve had students blog merely as a reflection tool. They have a ton of reading to accomplish before class each week, and in one class we require that they post an open reflection of their readings for the week 48 hours before class meets. This ensures that students have actually completed the readings, but also provides time for them to get their thoughts in order before class starts. It also is a great way to extend the walls of the classroom. Blogging is certainly one tool that can be used for many different purposes…this reflective use of blogging is one example. I’ve used Twitter with 8th graders to allow them to reflect using their mobile phones from outside of school. From a teaching and learning perspective, the most important factor is the student learning objective…WHY are you having them do this? What makes it better than normal classroom activities and instruction…but, I digress.
The question I usually get from family & friends is WHY do I blog (or at least try to). My purpose for blogging is to think things out. I blog for Reading Today, and I have been trying to maintain this blog. This is in addition to the steady stream of information, commentary, and links that I share on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. The links and content I share on those social networks is a way to share what I interests me as I read online daily. It also is an opportunity to create and curate an online brand for me…which is important in my field of work. Blogging for me usually is a reflective process that allows me to think through problems or questions I have in my work or research. Recently on my blog I have been doing a lot of posting about the IT&DML program we’re starting up here in the Education Department. I also have been posting my thoughts about the use of “open badges” in the program.
Blogging allows me to reflect on these questions, and get them all out in one place. It is an archive of my thinking (or lack thereof) on a particular topic and allows me to revisit it later. I may have people read and comment…people may not care at all and ignore it. As a reflective tool, it serves its purpose as an open, online journal in the deluge of online informational text.
Originally posted at http://www.unewhaven.com/2012/06/i-blog-therefore-i-am/