I enjoyed how both the Tryon and Richardson texts cheer along the blogging revolution and argue for its application in the classroom. Go Blogging! I’m writing about how blogging can expand students’ sense of audience awareness for my research paper, and it is clear from these readings that teachers have used blogs to do this and serve a million different functions at this point. When figuring out how to integrate blogging in our Composition classrooms, I think the important thing to remember is what we talked about a few weeks ago: the technology should serve our goals as a writing instructors, not be an end unto itself. For example, Tryon, says at the beginning of his article that his goal as an instructor is to nudge students toward “a sense that writing matters.” To achieve this goal, he used blogs to get students to engage with contemporary political issues. He helped his students see the role that bloggers play in politics and had students contribute to an ongoing conversation.
I think I’m pretty fully converted (and if I wasn’t already from our class discussions, this article from Computers and Composition put me over the edge), but I have yet to decide how and to what extent I’ll incorporate blogs in my composition classes. I can imagine a class blog that lists homework and basically distributes information (for practical purposes), and student blogs where they post reading responses (to push students to start engaging with their readings, record their reactions) and full-fledged essays (to aim for an authentic public audience), contribute to the class vocabulary page (to pool their resources–I wonder if this would work better as a wiki), collect links/sources for research projects (to share their critical analysis of sources), and of course, comment on each others’ posts (to build the class network/community). These are just a few uses that come to mind, and I’d love to hear how you all, web audience, use or plan to use blogs to teach writing.