I missed this post by Jay Rosen a month ago, luckily linked to by Ken Smith who has been blogging greatly lately and who I’ve been catching up on today. This is the way of connective learning, isn’t it? Based on personal passions, asynchronous, spontaneous, complex…
Sure, weblogs are good for making statements, big and small. But they also force re-statement. Yes, they’re opinion forming. But they are equally good at unforming opinion, breaking it down, stretching it out, re-building it around new stuff. Come to some conclusions? Put them in your weblog, man, but just remember: it doesn’t want to conclude.
People trying to explain their attraction to the weblog form say it’s conversational, two way, personal, a medium for the individual voice— plus interactive with our untold wealth in information, and fun. All true. Doc adds something: weblogging is an inconclusive act— and that’s attractive, part of the fun.
I love that. But it’s so different from the way we teach writing now. The paper essay is a statement of opinion. The Weblog entry is a statement of opinion in progress. I’m not saying we shouldn’t teach the former. But if we believe the future rests in digital communication (which I do, btw), how can we ignore the latter? If our students don’t have the skills to negotiate their learning instead of state it, are we really preparing them for their futures?
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