As I was reading the information about blogging, I was struck by the concept of blogging as a GENRE. I assumed all the genres had long been established – poetry, novels, short stories, essays, etc. The idea of a new genre of expression really excites me as an English teacher! It now has relevance to my classroom. I have always loved the idea of students journaling not only to express themselves but also to improve their writing fluency. Students need practice in getting ideas on paper, or in this case on the computer. Blogging seems like an easy and natural way to get students more fluent in expressing their ideas. I think it can lead to better writing. (We can work on the revising and editing in formal essays.) It also gives students a voice and empowerment. I want my students to know that their ideas are valid. I’m excited about the possibilities!
I’m realizing that blogs can be very helpful to me in other ways. I can gather information for the classes I am teaching. I can learn better teaching strategies (for example, Sylvia Tolisano’s Digital Learning Farm) , and I can also find emotional support from other teachers who are experiencing the same things I am in my class. I immediately related to Shelley Wright in her post “Synthesis” (Wright’s Room) and her reflections after a not-so-good teaching day. Sometimes we isolate ourselves as teachers and we are afraid to admit that we have made mistakes or had bad days. You can find comfort in the blog posts of other teachers.
The reason many of us teach, I think, is that we love to learn new information and considering different viewpoints. I knew there were blogs “out there,” but I never really knew how to filter through them and access the ones that are relevant to me. I’m still not really sure how to do that, but the list in Thing 4 has me excited about blogs for the first time. Some of the blogs that got me thinking are “Spies Like Us” and “The Myth of the Digital Native.”