(via JD Lasica)
From yesterday’s San Jose Mercury News comes this addition to the teenage blogging craze series of articles that have been coming out lately. Some interesting tidbits that may (or may not) help shed some light on how to use blogs with kids:
Many teens say blogging is an outlet they wouldn’t have otherwise. Nearly all invite strangers in — but parents are discouraged from crashing on the scene. Many say their parents are unaware of their blogs.
But teens say they’re drawn to sites like Xanga that encourage broad feedback, which sometimes exudes the feel of group therapy.
What’s consistent throughout is the search for validation. Though most say they write entries for themselves, it’s a disappointment if no one responds. One Evergreen student recently posted a message pleading for feedback. “it makes me sad that no one leaves me comments. . . . i write like these huge entries . . . about so much stuff . . . and no one even says anything in return. and i go to all of your xangas or whatevers and ALWAYS leave a comment.”
I wonder whether teens who see blogs as a personal diary genre will accept it as a tool for teaching and learning. Then again, I’m sure the tool is going to evolve pretty quickly while the blog might just stay the blog.
And for another cool way to use Furl, since the Merc-News requires a login (yuck) here’s my Furled version of the story for your no hassle reading pleasure. Enjoy!
(Note: Never one to hide my mistakes, I guess I can’t link to my Furl archive…so unfortunately you’ll have to go to the Merc News to register to get at it. Darn.)
Toni Lynn says
Hey Mr. Richardson,
I just wanted to comment on your entry because I suppose I can relate most to it.
“I wonder whether teens who see blogs as a personal diary genre will accept it as a tool for teaching and learning.”
You wrote that in your entry and I just wanted to comment on it. I have a livejournal of my own, and it’s my online diary that I update in about once a week. But the connection that I wanted to make is this:
When I was going into your class, and you told me that we would be using weblogs, I honestly didn’t like the idea. I questioned why you wanted them, when pen and paper had been working fine for years. It was this whole scary process… “You mean I have to be on the computer and use a website? I didn’t take a computer class because I didn’t want to do this!” I didn’t actually start to like the idea until we were in the middle of using them. But…. if I had a livejournal prior to the introduction of weblogs, it would have been so much easier. The process of livejournal is: sign in, update your writing, click “friends” to read your friends updates, and log out. Were you thinking I was talking about weblogs? The process is identical. If we were in class and you said “We will be using weblogs. A weblog is identical to your xangas and livejournals”, then I would’ve been able to breath easier. So my point is, livejournals and xangas and other online diaries are going to help weblogs dramatically. The introductions to weblogs are going to be so much easier. Tell a kid you’re giving him a free online diary and he’s gotta put his homework in it. Remind him he won’t get hand cramps. It’s so easy.
And just think, I can go online, update my livejournal, then go to my weblog and update with my homework. I don’t even have to move from my computer chair! Evolution! heh.
Good luck with everything (not that you need it…) 🙂
Will R. says
That’s so cool that you commented here! Thanks for the insights. I find it interesting that you seem not think livejournals and xangas are Weblogs. I always thought they were, but now that you mention it…
That FURL link isn’t working. I’m getting an “unable to access” message.