Friday, March 04, 2005

Why not blog 101?

Had conferences today with half my English 1000 students. A nice bunch, with many cool paper ideas this go round (I love, for instance, the paper about how mothering is considered "natural" and so isn't recognized as work, the flip side of Weber's talk about how capitalism regards itself as "natural," though that ethic too is learned. Sure, Weber was a yawn and a struggle, but it finally clicked and generated new ideas.) First conference was with M, the only one in the class who had heard of blogs before I introduced them last month. Had a pretty good paper, but he's been contributing wonderful, multi-faceted posts to the class blog. So I say something like this to him, and he says, well, that's because he has his own blog and is used to blogging. Which makes me think, hmm. Why not turn English 1000 into an all-blogging all the time class? Students get a blog, hook up to bloglines, select blogs that connect with their interests, and write. Maybe turn some ideas into something else, something that could be more "traditional." But, yeah, just blog.

Then I think, but would that really work for all students? What about the students without good internet access at home? What about... What about...

But, really, I'm thinking next time individual blogs and blogrolling will be a requirement. See how it goes.

Cause, as I told student M and as I told my 8010 class and as I told Marcia, I'm loving it. I'm loving the generative push of blogging. I'm loving the way it forces me to not just think but do something with that thinking, that makes me think more. And isn't that generative thinking process exactly what rhetorical invention is all about?

So thanks, Marcia. Thanks, Collin. Thanks to all you bloggers over there on the right who unknowingly served as inspiration. Thanks for getting me going.


Marcia said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying blogging and appreciate its pedagogical value.

Did you see the comment Russell made on my study skills post? He went in a different direction and connected what I linked to in an original way. Way cool! And, Kristina started posting to her blog as an invention activity.

I wonder what percentage of first-year composition students live on campus in dorms. Dorms have ethernet access. There are over 30 computing sites on campus and they even offer support till 4:00 a.m. during the week. Amazing. Ellis Library has that new information commons and students can even check out a laptop for 3 hours to use anywhere in the library. Plus, for students who do have personal laptops, almost the entire campus is wireless enabled.

I'm considering a technology and society theme for my English 1000 class next semester and I want to use blogs. I'd like to talk more with you about concerns/issues and possibly see if I can get assigned to a computer classroom.

Donna said...

The computer classroom issue is interesting. Last spring, when I requested to teach English 1000, I also asked for a computer classroom at least once a week, and that request seems to have been totally ignored. It just seems as if it isn't (hasn't been) done. One reason may be that classrooms are assigned way before instructors are assigned, and the program just hasn't made any commitment to assigning some sections to computer classrooms. Still, it seems as if it would be possible to make the switch. I'll make a note of talking to DK about this (I'm collecting quite a list of things I need to ask her.)