help me sell blogging to educators

I've been contacted by a local reporter to talk about blogging as an educational tool. If you've got some suggested talking points, I'd be happy to hear them, ASAP!!!!

Off the top of my head, I'll emphasize writing for public consumption and collaboration; teaching writing in environments that students may write in on their own, more authentic pedagogies that fit what students will do outside the classroom, technological literacy at various levels so as to empower students socially, politically and functionally; and I'm not sure what else. Suggestions? Please?


I'd trump up the community aspect, which you might compare to the "letters to the editor" section of a good newspaper. Except, of course, on the net these communities may be based less on geography and more on a shared interest or agenda. That seems to be a powerful force indeed in light of national politics, where politicians are less and less able to rely on local ties and must instead try to unify groups of people to vote for them.

Check out Barton's gaming blog at Armchair Arcade.

Is this print or TV? either way, they like quotable phrases, and one you could use is "writing that counts." A classroom blog means that a student's writing is shared with more than just the instructor. The audience suddenly becomes much more real, which makes the writing "real" as well, especially when a student's blog entry generates multiple comments. Who wouldn't like that?

Lanette | techsophist

I'd definitely go with the journal analogy, pointing out how journals have been used in education by teachers and by scholars and then suggesting that their audience imagine how much more valuable a tool journals become when they are public and can receive commentary from others.

Charlie | cyberdash

Just like real academics are beginning to do it:

Peer review – the unsung hero and convenient villain of science – gets an online makeover.

From the teacher's perspective, blogs are also a useful way to disseminate tangentially-related material to students.


Another benefit is that push-button publishing represents a new writing technology and it's important for students to practice writing for different media to learn the advantages/disadvantages of various forms, technologies.

These are all things that should roll just trippingly off the tip of my tongue, but my brain doesn't work that way. Thanks for the brainstorming/invention help! And keep the suggestions coming if you've got any. By the way, it's a print news story. If any of you are familiar with "The Alternative Source" that runs Saturday mornings on NPR, how widely sindicated it is I don't know, but the guy who produces that is the columnnist I'll be talking with. He's based in Spokane and does a blog and a blog column for the Spokesman-Review, the local daily.

bradley ||

The commenting aspect is hugely important. You could also sell it as being potentially better than peer review: if students spend some time getting visitors to come to their blogs, they might end up with more comments than they would in the classroom. They might also get comments from readers with more expertise or background knowledge.

And you don't have to choose between one and the other. Comments from the blogosphere and comments from fellow students can play off each other pretty well, even though (or perhaps because) the motivations for each are different.

I agree with the others in reference to collaboration and advanced journal use. I'm working on a thesis involving web 2.0 apps in the classroom, including more than just blogs (any suggestions are appreciated ; ) Not sure how much theory you want to get into with him, but there is the whole global conversation angle, knowledge creation, etc. More practical, how about ESL students? They can give the url to their community for comments, then translate/explain the comments to the other students, broadening everyone's minds. What I find is an important aspect of blogs in the classroom is that they are already there. These students may either have, or at least read blogs. Its a form of communication that is becoming more and more prevalent, even used by news and popular media. This form of rhetoric then should be in the classroom, at the least to be understood, i.e. its forms, structures, etc.

Donovon D

I just got of the phone with the columnist. The story will run on Monday. I suggested he talk to some folks at WSU, the tech savvy Bill Condon, Barbara Monroe, Patricia Freitag-Ericson or Donna Campbell. Though I don't know if any of them blog, they are all tech savvy enough to weigh in, I hope. Anyway, I'll post a link to the story (running this coming Monday) and to the accompanying blog so you can all weigh in on how well I sold blogs to the world! (or eastern Washington state anyway) and add your two cents.

bradley ||