Falling out of love ...
I used to love blogs. I thought they were going to be the Next Great Thing to introduce in the classroom. After three semesters, however, blogs are losing their lustre. Students are confused by them, unable to write, paralyzed with fear of blogging, or they are already light years ahead of the class with their own LiveJournals which have all the bells and whistles.
I have discovered that my honeymoon with blogs is over, mostly because there really is no room for spirited interaction between my students and myself in the blogs. Yes, I can require that they respond to another person's blog, but one student said that, compared to a discussion forum, leaving responses to blogs felt more like leaving a note for someone who is out. The discussion forum, she said, felt more like an ongoing conversation which was more fun.
Don't get me wrong; blogging is still a great tool, especially for undisciplined writers like myself who need to have a place to unload professional brainstorming, personal issues and general whining, and threads of ideas for creative ventures. Who knows? Perhaps the Great American Novel might emerge? I won't hold my breath. But the space is personal. And just for pure laziness, blogs allow me to avoid the semi-weekly task of having to cart home 100 little journal notebooks . I'm sure I will still use blogs in some form or another but I'm out scouting for the Next Big Thing in Composition.