I have already had some questions about how we will use our personal blogs in the course. Since we are all going to be new to this format at the same time, I want to share some of my vision. All good teachers modify and adjust, so I imagine some of that will be happening as well.
- Consider your blog to be your opportunity to write your response to the reading. I would suggest you think of your posts as a response paper that is written in language that sounds “business casual” (I am pretty sure I am stealing that image from Dr. Forsyth). There is so much sloppy writing that dives into narcissism on the Internet. That is not what we are looking for. We are looking for coherent essays that put forth ideas, questions, criticisms, concerns, connections, etc. I am not interested in contributing to the pool of crappy writing on the Internet. If you need to compose in Word, go for it. I think there might be some wonky transition to the blog, but I am less concerned with visual appeal and more concerned with strong ideas that are interesting, engaging, AND well-written.
- I envision your blog posts to say the things you would bring to the table during a seminar discussion. Remember, we won’t have the chance to sit in Lytle and enjoy its peas and carrots carpeting, so you need to be heard through your blog. Bring to your blog what you would bring to the table for a graduate course discussion.
- We will all be responsible for following each other’s blog. I expect you to subscribe to this blog and your classmates’ blogs (I will post a list of them once I hear from everyone) so that you can receive emails when a peer has posted. Basically, our conversation will go on all week instead of three hours at a pop. My plan is to put aside a few hours that are dedicated to reading and replying to your peers’ work just as you would schedule time to be in a classroom. I suggest you block out time in your weekly schedule and not leave your reading and response to the last minute.
- I expect that you will reply to at least two peers’ blogs per week. Again, think of this as the discussion we would normally have in class, but you have the time to really digest the responses and formulate a strong, thoughtful response. Sometimes the quick pace of class discussion can leave thoughtful people behind. I hope this format will make some of you feel more comfortable.
- Remember, the world can read what you are writing. You are young scholars who are beginning to create a body of personal scholarship. Feel free to take risks and ask questions. At the same time, remember that one of my goals is for you to have a body of work that can follow you, that you can show PhD committees and future employers as proof of your scholarship and your knowledge of new technologies.
- If EVER you have a concern, email me. We can set up a good, old-fashioned meeting in my office.