Designing a Student Blog

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This is the front page of my students’ blog: I am the editor, my students are the contributors and the community of Northern Arizona University is the intended audience.

OBJECTIVES

1. provide students with an audience outside of academic discourse

2. help students develop functional literacy skills (Buckingham 46) by learning to comment on the blog, create multimedia posts and link their ideas to other websites

3. encourage student development of full media literacy (Buckingham 44) through analysis and evaluation of content, as well as through the sharing of ideas on social media sites

The posts connected to this page are intended to provide guidelines and tips for creating a successful student-driven blog for your classroom. A blog with these objectives is not a forum for homework assignments or class announcements. Instead, it is a place for students to share messages, evaluations, information and arguments with other students (I like to think of it as a class zine or informal digital newspaper).

 

Buckingham, David. “Media Education: Literacy, Learning and Contemporary Culture.” Research in

Comparative and International Education 2 (2007). Web.

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4 thoughts on “Designing a Student Blog

  1. Blogging in the classroom is a great idea. Technology was never a big part of the classroom when I was pursuing my undergraduate degree and now, as a teacher, I feel as if I am playing catch-up. I will use this setup in future semesters. I think it’s particularly useful that you don’t simply encourage your students to post, but to analyze and comment on other posts as well. Commenting in an educated manner on shared information is a crucial lesson for generations being educated at the undergraduate level now.

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    • Hi Cassie! Technology didn’t play a big role in my undergraduate degree either. In fact, my first semester teaching at NAU I refused to use Black Board Learn or Google Drive. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the Center for Media Literacy (and also read Tony Scott’s “Writing Work, Technology and Pedagogy in the era of late Capitalism” around the same time) that I realized I was doing my students (and myself!) a giant disservice by not incorporating technology and media literacy into my lesson plans. The awesome part is that designing lesson plans for my students has greatly increased my own technology literacy!

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  2. Hi! I appreciate your passion for multimodal learning and digital media literacy in the composition classroom! Your approach makes a lot of sense, because students do have so many modes of communication to choose from and use in their lives and careers. Composition means so many things today, far beyond the academic paper. I think the student blog is a good idea not only for experimenting with digital composition, but also for organizing ideas and sparking interest in new modes. I would really like to challenge students in the future to select a mode of composition with which they have absolutely no experience. That kind of stretching in the classroom would be eye-opening, but I think they would also remember what they learn far into the future. Thank you for getting me thinking about this for my students/future students – and thanks for posting the Buckingham article as a resource. Jessica

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    • Hi! Thanks for your comment about challenging students. How much to challenge them is such a hard thing for me to assess! I’ve been reading through their reflections on the Evaluation Module and many of them said that the multimodal project was their favorite part of the module, but the paper was much easier to write. I found that really interesting! I think they sometimes like a challenge more than they admit in the moment.

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