As I explored a dozen (Who can stop at five? This can get addictive!) of the blog posts, I found them to be as varied as the writers. Each person has their own view of what they want to share, and he/she shares it in a unique way.
I found blog reading to be a combination of reading fiction and non-fiction. I read non-fiction for the facts. I don’t read fiction closely for detail nor do I take it as a reliable source. When I read a blog or blog post, I have to keep in mind that not all blogs are meant to be expert pieces on a body of knowledge. Sometimes (most of the time?) they are one person’s perspective on a topic, and that has its place. One great example of sharing a perspective is the blog on reforming student PowerPoints.
You have to pay attention when you are reading blogs/blog posts and ask yourself questions: Do I agree or disagree with the author? Why or why not? If I disagree, what do I think or believe? It’s a little more work than most reading if you really want to get something out of it. You have to understand something about how determine legitimacy of the post.
I have mixed feelings about commenting. Some comments extend the conversation and offer up great ideas. Some seem worthless to me in that they are demeaning or critical of others in ways I feel are unacceptable. An example of such a post is a comment on Anne Page’s A Rationale for Educational Blogging. I mean, what’s the point of making such a critical comment?
From looking at the excellent examples provided by Susanne and Judy and from following links to other blogs, I’m beginning to see how I might use blogging in my classroom. Students can blog about a body of knowledge as in Ms. Baker’s Extreme Biology Blog in which her students blog on assigned pieces of knowledge. Another use might be to have students discuss their understanding of a difficulty concept and how they have internalized that concept. Students could benefit from hard-won understanding on the parts of others!
I’m beginning to get pulled in to this whole idea of blogging….