Tuesday, March 10, 2009



Blogging and Writing Courses

A blog is a type of website, which allows users to make postings (i.e. to blog) that resemble an online journal or diary. Most blogs make use of text; however, users have the capability to communicate using photographs, audio (podcasting), and videos (vlog). This application, which is very popular among teenagers and young adults, belongs in the family of open source software, i.e. applications which are freely available for public use. But what does a blog have to do with writing courses?

Dr. Jill Walker, Weblogs: Learning to Write in the Network: “Weblogs are good as learning journals … but all these things could be done in a paper notebook - though the knowledge that other people are (or can be) reading is important. … What’s more important to teach our students is network literacy: writing in a distributed, collaborative environment. … Bringing network literacy to the classroom means jolting students out of the conventional individualistic, closed writing of essays only ever seen by your professor.” (http://huminf.uib.no/~jill/archives/blog_theorising/talk_at_brown.html)

Many students use blogs to keep personal journals and share their thoughts with the world. Building on this trend, faculty are increasingly using blogs as electronic journals. At a minimum, blogs allow students to comment and reflect on assigned readings in a creative and collaborative process. However, the potential benefits of using blogs in the writing classroom can be so much more. The very nature of a blog is its work-in-progress characteristic. Students often struggle with revising their work beyond the first or second read. Blogs provide opportunities for students to experiment with multiple versions of a paper as well as a means to solicit feedback and suggestions from their peers. Additionally, blogs give students an opportunity to see how other students employ writing and editing strategies in their work. A benefit for professors is the ability to maximize feedback. Whether writing a few choice suggestions on how to improve a paper or highlighting select techniques in students’ work, blogging offers a means to authentically interact with students.

Faculty can take advantage of the interactive capabilities of blogging to encourage students to discuss, collaborate, and elaborate on posted assignments. Whether the lecturer teaches on-campus or at a distance, he or she could guide students to use blogs in group projects and to produce collaborative writing work. The creative nature of online, collaborative work can emphasize the value of authorship and proper citation. Taking pride in their writing, can in turn lead students to genuinely realize the value of writing and the wrongs of plagiarism.

There are some blogs that I ejoyed reading. Some of those are:
  1. http://ugels.blogspot.com/
  2. http://izlankhafi.blogspot.com/
  3. http://nightriders.blogspot.com/

I really like to read the first blog because that blog is all about transsexual issue. Actually I and my coursemates had created that blog last semester. Even though we created that blog just because of our group project, but we did had fun while doing the project. Every piece of writing in that blog comes from our own idea. We did a lot of references before we publish our post. Through this, we did gained some knowledge about our topic of discussion, which is transsexual.

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