Saturday, April 21, 2007

Media, Technology, and Teaching

I was listening to NPR last week and was intrigued with a story on blogging - so much so that I have to blog on it. As someone who has found blogging (especially reading other teacher blogs) to be beneficial and as a student in Louann's Visual Texts Class I am curious about news stories focusing on new technologies and the integration of old and new. This story shows that it isn't always the old means of distributing information going to the new. An Icelandic based publication is piloting a newspaper in Boston that uses bloggers for some of thier news.

I am most interested in teaching implications. Take the idea of publishing student writing... Is blogging considered publishing? If so, why does a blogger in this story who focuses on her life's attempt to get publish comment on wanting to see her name in print? (Money is not a factor as the newspaper is not currently providing financial compensation) This lead me to thinking about the value of various media forms and how educators place value on a genre or writing form based on habit or history. Blogging may be a great step in a student's writing path, or, if the blogging newspaper catches on, maybe a step into a career.

Another thought that I've had with teaching and blogging is in the areana of cooperative learning. This is a new medium of encouraging cooperative learning. I'm wondering how blogging might level the playing field for students who are too shy to speak up in class or in small groups. Also, are there different leaders that emerge as a result of this type of discussion? I've been reading other blogs and perusing student blogs, but I'd like to know what changes, if any, teachers have noticed when adding blogs to the class discussion.

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