Practical Question for 11/10

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I have never participated in the blogosphere before this class. (I don't regularly visit blogs other than when a friend posts a fb link to a blog they frequent.) Sara Poutinen and Kandace Creel Falcon's essay "Teaching with Blogs and Blogging while Teaching" allowed me to consider the many possibilities of feminist blogging. I was really interested in the idea of engagement. I really liked the idea of "emphasizing feedback, over grading as evaluating." I was very intrigued at this notion that SLP discusses about giving feedback that is not aimed at evaluating or judging the students' performance (18). The footnote on this page directs us to an example of what this might look like. Read it here. I really liked this, because as the authors state if we consider the public nature of blogs (and the vulnerability of participating in them), teachers must develop "more feminist methods for giving feedback" (17).
How can we make sure that our students feel motivated and enthusiastic about engaging not only with the blog, but to have "serious engagements" with one another? What about the "silent or invisible readers"? How do you give them feedback? If blogging is suppose to allow for community building, how can we ensure that the community feels safe enough for everyone to participate and engage? (I'm still thinking about this idea of "authentic self" that we've grappled with...the article talked about feeling "exposed." KCF talks about being hesitant about granting too much access (13) to her students) I like that engagement in blogs offers new and exciting ways for student (and teachers) to develop their writing, but what does busting/blurring binaries between students and teachers mean for students who are still not ready to engage with this "organically?" Blogging is still something i'm getting use to, and although I'm excited about the possibilities for disrupting the notion of "what counts" as academic, how can we work towards making this happen in a way that is exciting and fruitful for all?

5 Comments

I never was a blogger before this course either...other courses I have taken had a blog but it was not required to participate. I do find the blog useful in this course as a way to begin or continue the conversations about the readings...however I have doubts about the practicality of using this with larger undergraduate groups.

I also think that the blog is a great way to continue the conversations that are had in the classroom. And I can see your hesitance of having larger undergrad classes participate. But, do you think that it might be worth having a blog available for those students who are enthusiastic about participating "organically." I did not set up a blog for my class this semester, (partly because I didn't know how and because of my unfamiliarity with blogging) but i feel confident estimating that about half my class probably woud probably participate willingly in a class blog. I know this because my students regularly share news articles, academic articles and/or videos with their classmates via email. Its got me thinking about how my hesitance about blogging is informed solely by the non-participating students as opposed to the students who are participating in sharing knowledge, even when it is not required. What do you think?

I actually never though about setting up a blog and seeing if any choose to work with it. That is a good idea...while I couldn't offer any points for it, it may be something that catches on if the students become engaged.

ooh Reina, I love your point about not setting up class around the students who don't want to participate, but rather around those who do! words to teach by, i think. i hadn't thought of it that way before.

Hmmm... i like your idea about setting up a blog for those want to participate because you may never be able to get the enthusiasm going for everybody and you don't wanna deprive those who may enjoy it. Perhaps, looking at the fun that the others are having, the ones in the middle may join too. I'm thinking about Riddlemethis' thought on using this in large undergraduate groups. The 'large' part does make it tougher. But, I'm also wondering about peer pressures. Sometimes they may like to do the stuff they are already doing in the way that they are doing. Unless they really want to do it 'differently' for the purposes of the class, I wonder how the idea will catch on depending on the peer pressures working in the class. What do you think? I'm assuming if you want to have a blog for those who would like to participate in it, it's voluntary (no grading). Did you mean something else?

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