I am glad Will reminded us about Barbara Ganley’s blog, bgblogging. I had read it before but hadn’t updated my Bloglines in a while. I still need to do that but that’s another day. I’ve been missing some wonderful writing. Her post today is excellent as she writes about the Questions of Audience
You’ve got to read the entire post but a couple of excerpts…..
“I do know that the primary conversation I am having here is with myself as a reader and a writer and a teacher. The blog is a place for me to ruminate on what I read and what I’m thinking about trying out in my classes. As E.M. Forster put it, “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” It’s a chance to synthesize what I read in the blogging world and push myself to learn and to grow as a teacher through this experience.”
And towards the end…
“And if I write for a sometimes phantom audience outside myself, well, the potential of a readership beyond myself forces me to write to my best, to commit to what it is I’m putting down here, even in this informal, draft-like meditation. Above all, for me, it all comes back to my teaching–it’s about modeling and experimenting and experiencing–if I ask my students to blog and moblog and voblog and mess around big time with media, then, well I had better be doing it myself to feel the fulll effects of what I’m asking of them.
There is much more within her post. Her weblog really is a must read.
When I write in my weblog, especially the ones that parallel, my student blogs, it provides a way for me to model the writing process and shows them that I think writing is important. It gives a very special way to communicate the process and share thoughts, struggles, and the hard work that goes into writing to communicate with others. It seems to me that students get the idea of voice and ownership when we travel together on weblogs- a relationship is developed that merges technology, students, teachers, peers, an outside audience and it can be exceptional. Connections emerge from a variety of sources.
The anticipation is a part of it. I can see the faces of my students when they first open their blogs. They are very eager to read what has been said, and then just as eager to respond. It gives meaning to the writing. Connections are being made.
Barbara made me think about my own posting and commenting. I think there are many times when I don’t comment but I always reflect on what I read and learned from another’s blog. Then I may write something and refer back to that person’s post.
We need to think of ways to help the teachers experience this. That’s still the hard part in our teaching about weblogs. And it takes time….. something teachers don’t have now. This is making me think of another posting about how we are losing our way in education. Maybe we can point out how writing is the most visible expression of what students know and how well they have learned it. Will comments from time to time how he would like to be at the university level and have freedom to experiment and play with these technologies, but I’m beginning to envy writing teachers because they get to let the students write. I wish we could throw out multiple choice testing and instead ask students to write about what they have read or experienced. Let them reflect and write and then assess this for instructional purposes, not just evaluative or administrative purposes. I know. I know. I said that would be another post!