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.
4 days ago