Is Blogging Dead?
The general sense that I get from students and the general zeitgeist of the day is that blogging is a thing of the past. Francine Hardaway a prominent entrepreneur is the field of social media marketing and much more put a nail in blogging coffin in her 2012 article, “Why Blogging is Dead and What’s Next”. The blog was titled over this picture of a relic of a bye gone age.
The thesis of this article was that anything that cannot be produced and consumed on our mobile hand held devices is if not dead extremely geriatric. This may be true in the business and marketing world but does is apply to education?
Our use of Blogs
I found the use of Word Press difficult at times but with consistent effort a great vehicle to centralize and disseminate information about many a Web 2.0 tool with the use of embedded material and links. If it be a blog or a Google sites style web page I think teacher need a central online presence to organize their classrooms and keep in constant communication with students, colleagues, parents, and administration. Through the course I have been thinking on how I would use a blog in my teaching practice. The two ideas that have remained the most prominent are the classroom blog page that could organize assignments, grades, comments and concerns. A living and breathing course outline of sorts. The second would be as a professional development journal slash resource binder. It could store links, connect to other professional blogs of value, store ideas, and allow for some moderating ranting (within reason of course).
The most valuable thing I could see is the classroom blog. Students would have a central place that is easy to access to check on deadlines and a safe embarrassment free place to ask questions. There seem more creative platforms to handle individual assignments that could be posted onto blogs for convenience sake. For example for a group assignment I may favor a Wiki over a blog.
I did have a bit of a wrestling match with Reasonably Simple Syndication. Even the name taunts me. Our Google Reader worked very well and could serve as a model of creating a classroom where all students had their own blog. It definitely would help in marking. For a course in English I wonder if it would punish students who are not as tech literate as others. It also raised the question should most disciplines be teaching computer literacy along with regular course work because of its pervasive part of our society. I believe that we should. The RSS feed system and blogging is simply the newest platforms to communicate and therefore should be considered a part of language arts.