I’ve happily noticed that we’re going to the second-tier adoption stage.
We the “early adopters”have been playing with blogs in our classes for awhile now. We’re loved them just for the sake of loving them. We’ve evangelized them to our peers and our students, with mixed success.
But now, blogs must pull their pedgagogical weight. It’s no longer enough to just put a student blog collective online and see what happens, or to send your students to Blogger and allow them to pretend like it’s the same experience as writing a paper journal that they turn in to their teacher.
It’s irresponsible to just dump students into a public arena without really taking some serious time to discuss the consequences of compeltely public and potentially permanent writing. Some students recognize the responsibility of publishing online, but most students may not yet appreciate the consequences for themselves both now and later in life.
I like talking about this public/private issue in the context of the expectation of privacy in a digital world. Basically, once something is put on a computer, submitted to the web or sent via email, one should assume NO personal privacy. Email gets forwarded, listserve can be publically-archived, and email is stored in university archives indefinitely.
Blogging forces students to consider their writing in a public arena, which they’ve been unknowlingly participating in for some time.
I think those consequences are a good thing, and I think it’s vital to educate responsible online ethos and to prepare them for the eventuality of having to defend their words in a context that they did not anticipate.