After thorough review of the various types of blogging, major commonalities could be distinguished easily. I noticed that there were many genres of blogging, and topics range from political to educational to personal or informative. As Richardson (2010) states, posting to weblogs can take on many forms, and blogging gives the reader as well as the writer the ability to be creative, publish their ideas, and share their writing with various audiences. I could tell right away, that blog reading was very different from other types of reading. First, I noticed that blogging gives the writer a voice. When reading each blog, the writer truly expresses their ideas without fear of prosecution, judgment, or discrimination. That made me hone in on every word, because it was as if someone was talking to me in the flesh. Secondly, blog reading is different from other reading, because it has its own form. They were free to express their ideas in any way they wanted to. This can be advantageous, because literary guidelines can suppress a writer’s true thoughts. I believe that blogging and other types of reading can be similar. In order for you to gain knowledge, understand someone’s point of view, or learn to analyze a piece of literature, you have to read it and make meaning of it. In addition, blog reading is just like journalism or the newspaper. They have to be constantly updated with new information regularly.
Blog writing is different from other types of writing, in that the author can share their views and opinions, and still leave room for the audience to share their thoughts as well. In different types of writing such as a textbooks, newspapers, or books what the author writes, is the end of the line. There is no collaborating or co-sharing of ideas. The reader is just a consumer of the information, and cannot express their own ideas to what they read. On the other hand, blog writing allows the author to have a back and forth dialogue with an audience, at anytime, anywhere in the world. Commenting can contribute to the writing and meaning-making of a blog, since interpretation of the authors ideas are welcomed. This allows for sharing of ideas of not just the person who posted the blog, but to the many cultures of the people that responded. Moreover, ensuring the expression of ideas of a variety of people, cultures, governments, and ways of life, can be a great thing.
Richardson (2010) conveys, that blogging possibilities are endless, especially when they facilitate “connective writing”. I thought this was a very powerful statement, because blogging allows users to not only communicate with various readers, but enables the user to be free to express their ideas, collaborate, share links and brings a whole new meaning to teaching and learning. I do believe that there is a blogging literacy we must be familiar with. From reading and blogging myself, I see a change in how I read and respond to different thoughts or ideas. I recognize that researching and defending your views is very important in blogging. Moreover, what you say can even change someone life, so the effects of blogging should not be taking lightly or measured by small means. Blogging affects how we read or write in many ways. As the old saying goes, “There is Power in your Words”. People may forget the things you do, but some never forget how what you said made them feel. Writing in general can change a person’s emotions drastically. Blogging can be a very powerful tool to truly express how someone thinks, feels or believes. Lastly, blogging will change the way we read and write, because not only will people began to read with diligence and patience, but writers will also write with dignity, integrity, and truly express their thoughts and ideas with conviction.
Utilizing Blogging with Students
I have to admit, that I was extremely excited about learning how to blog and utilizing blogging with my students. I was also very nervous about how I could do this effectively in the classroom. Richardson (2010) exclaims, that if we want our students to become experts at blogging, then teachers must be able to learn and explore this tool as well. After this week’s reading, I have gained new insight on utilizing blogging into my teaching practices. First, I must keep it small. Starting of simple, and by having students create links in their blogs, or even reading other people’s blogs, gets them more comfortable with this style of writing. Secondly, I need to make sure all students will have internet access so that they may blog at home, school, or anytime they want. Third, I can have students respond and post comments to a class blog, to get them open about sharing their ideas. I also want to make sure their writing has depth and breadth. Most importantly, I will be sure to communicate blog safety to my students, parents and administration, and ensure assessments of their blogs are consistent and fair.
Educators are assessing student blogs in variety of ways. The major commonalties I found with educators, is that they encourage students to self-reflect on their own blogs. I found this website useful in helping teachers to guide students in self-reflection by using a Ripple Effect Sheet in the “Blog of Proximal Development”. Moreover, allowing peers to evaluate the blog along with the instructor, use of a rubric with specified guidelines, helps the blogger and teacher access depth, intellectual conversation, and participation within the blog. I found this article “Blogs as Web-Based Portfolios”, very useful for this type blogging assessment. I also created a rubric below to assess my student’s blog. I will be looking for four main criteria: Quality of the writing, Intellectual depth, Level of participation and comments, and Contributions or collaboration. Overall, I am overjoyed at the thought of being able to practice and use this tool throughout this course, and I hope to share my knowledge and experiences to not only my students, but to my colleagues as well.
Churches, A. (2009). Blog Journaling Rubric - Bloom's Digital Taxonomy. Retrieved January 17, 2015, from https://edorigami.wikispaces.com/file/view/blogging rubric.pdf/52077423/blogging rubric.pdf
Fisher, C. (n.d.). Blogging Rubric. Retrieved January 17, 2015, from http://www.evenfromhere.org/2010/02/16/blogging-rubric/
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. (3rd ed.). Thousand Oak, California: Corwin.