Although I do agree that using a class blog, particularly one with the option to post anonymously, can be helpful for students who do not speak up, a part of me worries that we are just hammering one more nail into the coffin of conversation and face-to-face interaction. We already do so much of our communication through typing instead of talking, and today’s students cannot even recall a time in which smart phones, social media, and Photobooth did not exist. True, we can all agree that it’s never fun to finish a lecture or a lesson and receive nothing more than a shrug or a furrowed brow from every student you call on for questions or comments, but if we are going to integrate technology such as this idea of a class blog, then it needs to be one component within a larger scope of participation.
Initially, I visited the Langwitches Blog (www.langwitches.org) but found it to be terribly cluttered and confusing. Perhaps this is an indication of my “novice” status as a blogger! I selected the blog of Wesley A. Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity. It appeared to be much more user-friendly, and I was pleased to discover that it also contained a wealth of useful and interesting information. The blog posts are constructed in the style of website articles, with embedded videos and other pertinent media. At the bottom of each post, there are links to related articles on both Fryer’s blog and on sites around the web. There was one feature with which I was particularly impressed, and I will ask that you forgive my inability to describe it in proper “blog language”. On the side of the screen, Fryer’s blog had a list of entries from the past month. These entries had the highest number of comments out of all the entries posted in that month. Generating discussion is always encouraged in the educational community, so it seemed very practical to have such a list readily available. Overall, I found this blog to be easy to navigate and a wonderful source of information and activities.