(via Colin, via Seb) At the Media Ecology Association conference last week, Alex Halavais spoke about the difference between blogging as an academic activity and blogging as an activity carried out by academics. I think that’s a pretty interesting distinction, and it starts me thinking again about blogging as genre and the potential benefits of teaching students (and teachers) how to do it.
I consider this an academic activity. I learn from it. I read, think, respond, and in doing so, when the blogging is good, I clarify my thinking, allowing me to reflect upon it in more concrete ways, which in turn produces more learning. Lately, I find myself digging back into these posts more and more (which has led me to consider ways in which I might categorize or organize these thoughts even more effectively.) The amount of writing and thinking I’ve chronicled here just floors me sometimes. Not that any or most of it is especially ground breaking…just the sheer size of it. In just under two years in this space (not including previous spaces) there have been almost 2000 posts. That’s amazing to me.
According to Colin, Alex also said we should be thinking at the level of community or network rather than individual blogs. A lot of my time these days is spent thinking about that, not only in the context of the school community/network but in terms of the community itself. I’m sure I’ll be writing much more about this newest endeavor, but THE big question I’m asking right now is how can we use Weblogs and the Internet to help the physical community feel even more connected and involved. We’ve talked a lot about efforts to build community around shared interests despite being in many geographic locations. What happens when the virtual community IS also the physical community? More later on that, I’m sure…