Thursday, December 14, 2006

Classroom blogging

I've never been a utopian or even a huge booster when it comes to technology in the classroom. Too often it's never explained why we need blogging in the classroom or why tradition formats of learning and student scholarship are inadequate.

Still, I've decided to set up a group blog for my special topics course in Documentary Fictions next semester. For starters, it's a writing-intensive course, which means significant practice in informal writing as a way to practice and brainstorm for more formal assignments. I saw the weblog format as a useful and equally functional (more functional, in fact) equivalent of printed informal writing.

Moreover, since hybrid forms and questions of documentary authenticity seem to be capturing the attention and imagination of a number of viewers, critics and observers these days, the weblog format should allow for discussion to grow organically over the semester to diagnose what, exactly, makes fake documentary seem so much part of the zeitgeist. It will also give students (and me) a chance to reflect on the array of films we're watching, from staged actuality to the present. I'm looking forward to what could be a really dynamic discussion.

If readers have used weblogs in classroom setting before, I'd be eager to hear your experiences.

3 comments:

BenP said...

We wanted to let you know about a new service for all filmmakers and film students that can be seen on www.mymovienetwork.com. We would appreciate it if you did a review of our innovative services in your blog and let your readers know about our services. If you have advice or suggestions on how we can promote our service to your user community we’d love to hear it. We’re looking for advertisers and partners so feel free to contact me so we can discuss further.

About www.MyMovieNetwork.com
Launched in 2006, MyMovieNetwork is a unique online community that provides tools for filmmakers to showcase their work around the world by posting their films and portfolios as well as, learn from, network and collaborate with fellow movie makers. All members and visitors can watch, critique and rate submitted content based on its quality while at the same time enjoy the entertainment provided to them for free. MyMovieNetwork runs contests to find the best filmmakers, provides tools for scouting, blogging and linking to personal film archives. We provide affiliations for film schools and film clubs so all their members and work can congregate in one place. In addition each user can create a studio where all their films, cast and crew are associated with the studio. MyMovieNetwork community is growing so drop by and if you have a story to tell we’d love to hear from you and see your work.

Regards,
BenP

Chuck said...

You've probably already seen some of my blog entries and my article about blogging in the composition classroom (there's a link to it in my sidebar). I'm far less utopian about blogging in the classroom than I used to be, especially now that I'm teaching students who may not have computers/modems at home. My best course blog was *probbaly* Rhetoric and Democracy, which I hosted on Blogger simply for practical reasons.

Let us know how it works out.

michael said...

Hi there,
I have been using a class blog in an intro media studies course. It's a blogspot blog (I'll send you the url by e-mail if you like). The assignment is to use the blog as a media consumption diary and to post at least ten times during the semester. The students can get credit for posting a maximum of once per week so that they don't all post ten entries at the end of the term. Everyone says they have liked the experience (this semester was my first time doing this). It helped us get to know one another and got the students in the habits of reflecting on their media experiences and of writing about them. I'm looking forward to doing it again. The class sessions in which I read some of their entries aloud and we discussed them were our liveliest ones.