Keeping it Interesting

I've been enjoying August flex time, those 5 sweet weeks between the end of my summer class and the first day of fall semester. As an educator I love this time of year because it allows me to imagine the school year ahead... dreamily. I approach the upcoming semester with a manifesto-to-self to make it all new, not to reinvent but to reshape.

I'm reshaping the blog assignment and my own blog endeavor. This first blog of mine was started as an experiment to share the experience of blogging (with a research question in mind) with my students--via "inquiry blogs," as we're calling them. I'm taking a short break to figure out what turn I'll take with this blog--a new blog? 2 separate blogs? I'm not sure yet. But I do know that I'll be blogging in the fall, and so will my students.

I'll be back with a reshaped blog during the first week of the semester. Please stay tuned.

Blogging on Vacation / Scholars Blogging

I submitted grades for my 8 week summer session class 1 week ago. Now I'm at the lake, trying to leave my adjunct academic life behind for a few days before I dive into fall preparation. My students are no longer my students: I'm no longer tallying and commenting on their blog entries. For many of them, their first attempt at blogging is coming to a halt. (I'll write more about feedback from my students in another entry.)

But I want to keep blogging. I want to continue on from one semester to the next, blogging with my students in one way or another. Continuously.

I keep wondering about whether others in my field (perhaps my department head or dean or tenured colleagues) think it's smart for an adjunct instructor like me to keep a blog.

Editing Your Blog

Have you ever noticed a strike through while reading one of your favorite blogs and wondered if it was intentional? Most likely, yes: intentional. That "strike through" was designed as a clear sign to the reader that something changed from the original post, and the blog author wanted to make this change completely transparent to the reader. This strike through example reveals a different sort of editing philosophy at work, one that I find refreshing and challenging.

(It reminds me, in some ways, of reading Raymond Carver's revised short story in The New Yorker a couple years back, where we could read the final edited (by Gordon Lish) story while also reading the original (and much longer) story. I appreciated Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" anew when I observed all those strike-throughs.)

After a little reading and thought on the subject, it seems to me that every blog writer has to come up with her own blogging philosophy, and here are a few questions that a blogger might consider:

Will I allow myself to edit entries after they've been published?
If so, will I put an expiration date on this editing window? (Such as 24 hours or 3 days.)
If I allow myself to edit, should I make these edits apparent to my reader? Why or why not?
Should edits be limited to only making more serious corrections? Or will I also allow myself to edit for style?
Will I make my editing policy known to my readers?
Will I allow any exceptions to my established editing rules?
Will I limit the number of edits?
Will I limit the amount of editing I do during the original (before publishing) composition of an entry?
Does going back to add links count as editing?

Blogging Limits: Time & Frequency

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For blogging -- well it goes on the page as it goes through the brain. - Joshua Kim, "Technology and Learning" Blog, Inside Higher Ed

3:37

That's when I started this entry. And I will end my post at 4:07 on the dot.

Grandma's got the kids, I just ate a fast food burrito, and I've got just under 30 minutes until I will send these words out there and move on to clean my house before the kids return.

In my last entry I explained that it was taking me too long to write these blog posts... based only a hunch. But then I read "Online Education and Blogging" from Inside Higher Ed's Joshua Kim, and my hunch grew into conviction.

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