The Blogosphere: What's in It for Me? (An Introduction)

Small academic organizations looking for publicity but lacking the funds for a web designer, teachers interested in exposing their students to feedback from real-world audiences, and individuals who simply like to write may all find weblogs valuable, even outside the setting of a composition classroom.

We already see barefoot and pajama-clad students in the classroom; I think it’s high time to make the classroom more visible to the student 24/7, preparing them for the life-long learning habits and intellectual attitudes towards life that our catalogs and recruitment brochures promise they will acquire by the time they leave.

Bloggers who are excited about their work tend to intersperse required blog entries with personal ones, reading and commenting on blog entries written by students who are not in their classes; this can energize a whole community. Several students directly compared blogging to discussion boards, and explicitly stated that they did not put as much effort in their discussion boards because they knew nobody outside the class would ever read their work.

While blogging has percolated past the computer programming, new media, and journalism departments, and is making inroads in composition and literature, the potential for blogging in first year experience, recruitment, retention, and alumni relations is almost completely untapped. (Collaboration, anyone?)

(A “Teaching and Learning Forum” at Seton Hill University.) —Dennis G. Jerz

The Blogosphere: What’s in It for Me? (An Introduction)Jerz’s Literacy Weblog)

I just presented to a small group of faculty, staff, and administrators. Mike Arnzen also presented his professional development website, Pedablogue.