So one of the frustrations I’ve felt with my own practice with student Weblogs and the like is the veritable dearth of students who continue to blog after the class is over. I’ve always felt that for these tools to really become as powerful as they can be, they need to be integrated over the long haul, not simply used in nine or 18 week chunks for one specific class or another. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a start. And if all the hulabaloo over the blog banning story has shown one thing, it’s that we need any and every opportunity to model a thoughtful use of blogs in the classroom.
Chris Lott has been thinking about these issues as well and has a very important post about them here.
The problem is that it takes more than one class/quarter/semester to start becoming a proficient denizen of the socially networked community. One-off uses are not enough—just when students are starting to make the connections themselves, and just when they are starting to have their own personal “AHA!” moments, the plug gets pulled and they may not encounter such an educational environment again for another term or two (or ever).
It’s so true. And his thoughts on how to ameliorate this issue by incorporating blogging as a part of a richer, portfolio type tool is right on as well. Blogging in isolation is good. Blogging as a part of a more expansive, more integrated environment that brings all the pieces of learning together in one place is much better.