Friday, October 14, 2011

Blogging--on paper

Thanks to the Columbus day holiday that cancelled my ENG 101 lab day, and thanks also to students in ENG 99 taking a practice CATW, there were no online interactions this week. Yet somehow the word blog still made it to the classroom. We were discussing Oedipus in ENG 101, and I wanted students to do some impromptu writing before they got into groups. Immediately they started asking me how long it has to be or whether it had to have a thesis. I told them to write it like a journal, and almost all of them looked at me as if I was telling them to use a floppy. On a hunch, I told them "write it like a blog, but on paper" and instantly they started writing. I guess this matches a lot of observations people have made in this seminar, that students see blog/online work as having fewer demands than an essay (and that does bring its own set of problems), but also showed me how using blogs is a successful way of creating a low risk environment.