interesting blog writing course

Next semester I’ll be teaching digital culture, which is a survey and theory course rather than being practical like this semester’s web design course. I want to use blogs to focus on thinking and writing, so it will be different to this semester’s installing and customising frenzy. I found some inspiration for thinking about this in MC Morgan’s Web Logs and Wikis: New Writing Spaces for Advancing Writers at Bemidji State University, which I think is in Minnesota. There are lots of Norwegians there, aren’t there? Anyway: the assignments are great. Instead of being presented with a blog already set up, or struggling with the horrors of installing MoveableType, students are simply asked to set up a weblog and announce it to the class weblog. They decide for themselves which system to use, though blogger.com is recommended for this first blog. The course also uses wikis, and I’ve been thinking about that too – after all, I don’t actually want to teach blogging for the sake of blogging (though it probably sounds that way sometimes), I want to teach digital culture and digital communication. That includes a basic literacy in how to write, link and communicate on the web.

In Morgan’s personal weblog I found a wonderful comment on student essays which I think I’ll show my students, because it’s just what I’ve been struggling to tell them recently:

The strongest responses – those that did not simply assert a point or position but rolled ideas around – linked out to other places on the web. And the strength didn’t come simply of the linking; that is, the argument and writing wasn’t better simply because of the link. Instead, linking out created an ethos of someone at work on a problem. Linkers didn’t just link. Their position, their stance, towards the issue motivated linking. They went out looking for connections, read the stuff, quoted from the linked material, and responded or commented on it – and linked the whole thing back to the chapters on Blood.

24. March 2003 by Jill
5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. I like that you mention linking and digital writing as basic literacies, but I think we are far away from practicising this literacies in the norwegian schoolsystem.

  2. I agree, but perhaps we will? You’re starting to use blogs in high schools, from the looks of your website – it will be interesting to see how your students work with the blogs!

  3. Do you remember Winnie the Pooh? Always looking for honey, and one day he had a perfect plan: he rolled in the mud to get the outfit of a little black cloud, thinking that the bees wouldn’t recognize him in this disguise. Why this “link” to Winnie the Pooh? I think web-teachers must be visible. We have to practice what we teach, and my “bees” are the minutes and hours that won’t go as far as that. And your blogg-teaching or teach-blogging(?) has opened my eyes to this important pedagogical principle one more time.

  4. Good Blogging
    jill/txt: interesting blog writing course is a post about what Jill is teaching later this year, but down the bottom she quotes from a student blog about what makes a blog post a good blog post. This is not the…

  5. Autumn
    I wonder what will happen. Come summer I’m done with my Bachelor degree in CS, and if my hunt for work don’t work out [;)] I’ll be stranded. We can’t afford to stay here in Bergen without any source of…

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