blogging about blogging



Moving to the Public: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom

Lowe, Charles and Terra Williams. Into the Blogosphere. “Moving to the Public: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom”. 22 June 2007. <http://blog.lib.umn.edu/blogosphere/moving_to_the_public.html&gt;.

The article begins with an interesting quote that compares blogging to a personal diary. The conclusion is that a blog is in no shape or form private–it is a “public diary”. However, Lowe and Williams present us with the argument that blogging in the classroom can be either private or public–it is the teacher’s or student’s choice. They state:

“Students need only choose “no” when Blogger asks if they want a public blog site, keep their site’s location on the web secret, and exchange the URL only with the teacher, resulting in a private electronic writing space where they can be free to express the personal”.

However, they add that making a blog private has a drawback–that the general audience of web surfers who may be interested in commenting or supplementing to the information posted on the blog would not have access to the blog and would not even know that the blog existed.

I really like the quote by Susan McLeod that is included in this article. She describes blogs as a way to:

“help students explore and assimilate new ideas, create links between the familiar and the unfamiliar, mull over possibilities, [and] explain things to the self before explaining them to others. The analog for this kind of student writing is the expert’s notebook—the scientist’s lab book, the engineer’s notebook, the artist’s and architect’s sketchbook (the journals of Thomas Edison and Leonardo da Vinci are prototypical examples)”(2001, p. 152)

Lowe and Williams mention a few different categories of posts on students’ blogs:

  • reading responses
  • articles and other items of interest
  • research responses
  • personal explorations (hobbies, interests)
  • off-topic blogs/journals (random comments, quotes, and tidbits)

(The article deals mainly with college freshman, yet the content is applicable to secondary school as well)

Lowe and Williams continue to say that public access to scholastic blogs is highly beneficial. One way is that students have a larger sense of ownership and responsibility over their piece of writing. (I think of it like this: we dress a certain way around the house–sweats, tshirts, sloppy hair–but when we go out in public, even if it is just the grocery store, we are a little more conscious of our appearance) Therefore, while writing pieces to post on a blog, students will be more aware and more careful about what they write. Lowe and Williams also mention academic aids such as Blackboard and show their quality of being public, yet private at the same time.

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Comments

  1. * April says:

    Love it, Musawar –
    Much of what we have been chatting about – especially regarding the benefits and drawbacks of making it “public.”
    I also like the notion of putting on certain clothes or combing your hair if you know you are going to see people. Very accessible analogy.
    *A-

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 11 months ago


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