Classroom Blogging Revisited

A few weeks ago, I mentioned Austin Lingerfelt’s paper on blogging in the classroom. The paper is done now, and it looks really interesting. I’ve learned quite a bit from Austin’s paper and participating in an interview with him about my use of blogging in the classroom, specifically in terms of how the student “discussion blogs” functioned in relationship to interaction within the classroom.

I generally think Autsin’s right to note that “the key issue then is one of choice,” and that allowing students to write about topics of their choice may make for more engaged writers. In my Rhetoric and Democracy course this semester, I tried just that approach, with some limited success (students were allowed to write about election-related topics that were important to them), but when I allowed students the freedom to find what they wanted to read (and therefore relaxed required due dates for blog entries), many of them procrastinated and didn’t complete the blog assignment until the final week of class. Now, to some extent that may be an implicit commentary on the material, with students who weren’t interested in reading about the election putting off writing about it as long as possible. Or it could be a matter of tweaking the assignment to keep students more consistently on topic in order to integrate blog assignments more effectively into the daily life of the classroom. At the very least, Austin’s essay has encouraged me to rethink the ways in which I’ve used blogging in the classroom in the past and how I’ll use it in the future.


  1. Steve Said,

    December 14, 2004 @ 7:09 am

    Do you know of a plan, post, idea, etc… that may help me implement blogging in a Middle School setting? There are a lot of problems- such as monitoring as many blogs as I would have to, as well as privacu issues for minors.

    I have thought of this before, but don’t know if i should try it or not.

  2. chuck Said,

    December 14, 2004 @ 11:49 am

    Steve, you might take a look at Austin’s paper. One of the education blogs he analyzes comes from a middle school class, and it appears that the teacher had great success with it.

    He specifically mentions the M&M Magazine as one good example of an online magazine published by sixth graders.

  3. Steve Said,

    December 15, 2004 @ 5:52 am

    Thanks Chuck, will do.

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