Been reading Clay Burrell's regular thoughts about the evolving nature of blogs in schools. One interesting thread addresses teachers sucking blogs dry by using them for too much "homeworky" stuff, such as simply posting prompts online to replace traditional paper assignments. His original post garnered some interesting comments, including one from yours truly. He says,
"'Blogging is just another way to turn in homework.' That's the sentence that scares me. Because that's how non-blogging teachers, and perhaps those unfamiliar with literacy pedagogy--communication across the curriculum, writing to learn, authentic writing, and more--will probably use blogging in the classroom. And it will become drudgery. And the students (not learners here, because "teacher" can't let go of being "teacher," dominating, squelching, and dictating to students) will bang out the minimum for "blog homework," as in old days, and turn to something authentic. Like their MySpace."
Well, there you have it. Maybe the hand-wringing comes from a personal enxiety about blogging. Finding time to post regularly. Finding a voice for what I do post. Both of those have been a struggle for me.
I applaud the lofty efforts of Clay, Will, and others in the edublogosphere who are working and thinking hard about the diverse web 2.0 technologies afforded to us. They know a lot more about this stuff than I do. In the last several months, I've listened and tried to learn. I will continue to do so.
If nothing else, I think I know what I need to do, which is a lot better than where I was even just four months ago. I need to continue to use blogging as part of my professional growth plan. I need to help spread the word to other teachers in the building. I need to continue to use these tools in my classroom. It's the only way my students - and I - will benefit.