Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thing 2

I read the following posts. I chose kind of a random, eclectic variety of titles that struck me.
In general, blogs are much more relaxed even though sometimes their topics are not. The only difference there is in reading them is that it's like reading a conversation. Sure you read conversations in books, but the whole blog is a conversation. When you first start the blog, you don't know with whom you are sharing this conversation. It could be with one person or with 20. People can join the conversation or leave at any time.

Just like a person can join or leave the conversation, what they say in the conversation is just as "up in the air." You have a specific meaning to what you are writing, typing, or saying. Just because you mean it one way, does not mean it is taken that way. Sometimes this can be bad, because this is pretty much the meaning of miscommunication. Sometimes this can also be good. You might have meant what was said one way, but the person reading it takes it a whole new directions. The best way to illustrate this is with music, especially country music. One song that demonstrates this quite well is SheDaisy, "A Night to Remember". On the right click on the CD called "The Whole SheBang." Then click on track #10, "A Night to Remember." It's not what you think it will be. Anyway, contributing to or commenting on another person's blog gives it life. Without that contribution, it really isn't a conversation and it's not Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is all about collaboraion. Web 1.0 is like someone handing you a book to read. Web 2.0 is like someone hading you a whiteboard for you to write.

Writing blogs is different from other types of writing. See my Double Bubble above (Could not figure out how to put it where I wanted it):

One would not think that the last two questions:
  • "Is there a "blogging literacy?" How does blogging affect the way we read and write?
  • (How) can blogging facilitate learning?" from 23 Things Wiki

could go together, but they do. I think there is "blogging literacy." I think there is almost two types of "blogging literacy." There is a formal and an informal way to speak on blogs. In order to properly use blogging to facilitate learning, I think we need to use it formally when in an educational setting. This might be nit-picking, but on my classroom wiki I do not allow "text talk." That is the difference between the formal and informal. I have no problem with students and people using "text talk" in an appropriate setting, but on an educational wiki or on an education blog I don't see it's usefulness. As educators, we reinforce proper grammar and spelling, by spelling things correctly and by counting off when something is spelled incorrectly. The same should be the standard on line. So, if blogging is to facilitate learning, I think it needs to continue with some of the formalities that we require in the classroom.

On a personal note, I can't stand it when students put "IDK" in the answer blank on their paper. Really, I'm not conceited, but I feel as a 7th grade math teacher that I have the brainpower to figure out that if the answer is left blank, you don't know how to do the problem. GRRRRRRRRR!


  1. First of all, I LOVE your double-bubble!! If you give me permission, I would love to post this to the wiki and I will credit you for the image as well.

    Yes, there is a "formal" and an "informal" way to speak on blogs. I've found that most educational blogs that I visit, although they have a conversational feel to them, are written formally (correct grammar, no IM talk). I believe that speaks to the education level of those writing the blogs and the comments left on the posts are typically of the same caliber.

    I'm pleased to hear that you expect "formal" talk on your wiki. It is important for students to learn that there is a place for IM/Text talk, but the classroom or even a digital-based work is not the place for it. I know this has become a great concern for many teachers now as they find that students are slipping into text talk mode when completing assignments.

    I will admit to laughing about the IDK when they don't know the answer. At least they didn't forget to answer it (she said tongue in cheek).

    "Sometimes this can also be good. You might have meant what was said one way, but the person reading it takes it a whole new directions."

    What you brought up here is a situation that I have encountered many times in emails. What I wrote was interpreted very differently than the intent behind the words. Does that happen in blogs? Sure, it does. But that is when the great conversations can take place, too. Commenting allows for that and when the conversation can be taken into an unexpected direction, great things can happen!

  2. Yes, you may use the image.

    With the text talk...I've had students turn in term papers for math with text talk in it. I just refused to grade those papers until they fix the "text talk."

    I am the queen of foot-in-mouth disease, and that's when I'm in person. That's why I'm so careful online.

  3. I agree with you on the possibility of misunderstandings happening with blogging. When reading or writing, you need to almost take 'emotion' out of the content as it may not be received with the same feelings as delivered. Of course you still have the option of using all caps to really make a statement.

    Informal versus formal -- I think there could be some flexiblity in this area....not with spelling, but with sentence structure and such. If blogging is to be more like a conversation, then shouldn't students be allowed to "write" the way they speak. I think that if we require too much formality from their responses, then they may begin to view blogging the same as any other type of "writing" assignment.