Well, I think the title just about says it all: “In the Classroom, Web Blogs Are the New Bulletin Boards.” Um, I beg to differ.
You know, it’s amazing how often I get asked that question: “Well, how are blogs different from, like, news groups?” Graphics. Collaboration. Shared space. Digital paper. Syndication. And so on, and so on… But for some reason, so many people still look at them and see, well, bulletin boards I guess. Too bad.
The good news is that the article does bring to light some more teacher bloggers who are doing some creative work with their kids. But what’s up with not including links in the story? I mean, c’mon…
Some other not so great observations: turning collaborative, trans-oceanic study of the Holocaust into pen-palling (modern day at least.) And this:
That has led some teachers who are critical of blogs to question wonder the technology has actually done anything to interest students in writing. Critics also worry that the casual nature of writing on the Web may encourage bad habits that are hard to break, like e-mail-style abbreviations, bad grammar and poor spelling.
Ok, now the journalist in me would love to know what teachers are critical. And, how about some discussion of blogging as something other than IM.
Can you tell I’m disappointed? Look, I’m not saying that edublogging is the answer to every problem in education. But I just hate it when the incredible potential of this technology is missed almost entirely. Too bad.
Alan Levine says
Send the Times a ticket to the Cluetrain.
Critics worried about “encouraging bad habits”? Aren’t things like giving students a personal publishing platform, an audience, a peer network, feedback from the world a bit more important than fear of mis-placed commas and dangling prepositions?
No, let’s teach them by drill and practice, writing to no audience other than a teacher, and never provide them a place to be heard.
Tom Hoffman says
Actually, I think they’re referring to physical bulletin boards, not electronic bulletin boards, which isn’t a bad comparison in some ways.
Tim Lauer says
I agree with Tom. They were looking for a metaphor. Bulletin boards being the place where student work once was placed to be viewed.
Will R. says
Maybe. But I think it’s a bad metaphor anyway. It connotes something static and limiting to me, and it doesn’t give a feel for the transparency and reach that Weblogs have.