the novelty of blogs is wearing off?

For the second semester running, I have not succeeded in getting my students enthused about blogging. Let’s be frank: most of them hate it, only a very few of them actually post assignments on time and only the guy who already was an active blogger uses it as I’d intended. And this is in a course where the topic of the first half of the course is blogging, where they have to include two blog posts in their portfolios at the end of the semester, thus contributing to their grade, and where I’ve worked hard to make sure there are interesting assignments, we’ve blogged in class, I’ve posted feedback, asked them to give each other feedback etc etc etc.

Basically they just ignore it all. And they’re smart interested students. Who are bizarrely enough writing papers about blogging while saying they don’t really understand blogging. Because you’ve only posted three posts to your own blog, I tell them, tearing my hair out.

Kara Dawson thinks the initial novelty of blogs, that made students enjoy them a few years ago, has simply worn off:

Sure, blogs have changed the face of communication, and brought new opportunities, new relationships, new forms of recognition, and even new earning potential to many people. But not to everyone.

Certainly not to my two classes of graduate students who ended the fall semester blogged down and blogged out. In the past, when I had required students to write blog postings in my courses, the assignment was at least a novelty. But last semester, it just seemed a snore.

To my surprise, after our American and Canadian exchange students showed the class FaceBook, most of them signed up and are using it quite actively. Perhaps simply because it still has that novelty?

23. February 2007 by Jill
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