My journalism kids’ weblogs are now linked at the class home page… still having some issues with kids understanding the process (it is a bit more complex than Blogger). But I’m being patient, telling them that by the end of the week everyone should be comfortable. We’ll see.
Today, for the first time, I did feel compelled to articulate the Why Weblogs? case to them. What I realized is that it’s a different “argument” from the one we educators keep debating and creating. They don’t much care about the collaborative nature of the weblog; they can do that without it. Nor does the concept of audience REALLY have meaning to them (at least not until some “audience” starts giving some real response). And Pat’s eloquent “digital paper” analogy would fly equally high over their heads, I think. So what did I resort to? I gave them the standard “Because you’re going to need to know how to do this in the real world” speech. After spending a year clarifying my own pedagogical philosophy about this stuff, it felt a little bit like I was copping out. I mean really, that’s the speech we always give when we don’t have any other, right?
And it’s not that I don’t think I can justify it anyway. KM and collaboration and communication over the Internet is the way of the future…I don’t doubt that for a second. I guess I just wish I could have made more of my own meaning clear to them without thinking it would be lost on them. Sigh.
So as the huge first week avalanche begins to ebb, I’m hoping to get back to more careful reading of all the weblogs I’ve been missing lately. Vague memories of blogventions and newspaper templates need more of my attention, I think.