Blogging Alive

July 1, 2009

¥       A quick poll . . .Slide1

        What is a blog? 

¥       How can we use blogs for searching?

 Learning from Blogs

 Liane’s map

 Basic Directions:

  • Create a compelling question
  • Follow blogs only to find “answers” and track them
  • Translate the track into a map of the blogs?
  • What’s the community you just created?
  • How credible are the sources?
  • How do you know?

 ¥       How can we use blogs for composing?

 Being Jane Austen

Sorting out a Question– http://hyperglyphics.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/my-class-blog-experience-a-story-of-disappointment/

 Drafting; predicting; listing (see this blog)

 (Who is the author? Imagining a back story; engaging in self-dialogue; engaging in thinking on the screen)

 ¥       How can we use blogs for sharing?

 Discussing a Text


Visiting with an Expert

Documenting a Phenomenon


And last but definitely not least: the National Gallery of Writing–>




  1. Assessment and (More) Credibility

    In terms of response, blogs can be great, precisely because ther provide space for many kinds of responses and many respondents. Writing here is a form of connecting with others.

    In terms of assessment, the criteria I put on the handout work well if we conceive of a blog as a conversational space. But if we want it to be more like the blog on unnecessary quotes, then we’ll want a different set of criteria. In general, I think we need to decide as members of a community how to assess different blogs, but clearly, purpose and audience are key factors.

    Re credibility, I’ve been asked a couple times now about how to determine a blog’s veracity. Again, I think we as community members are deciding this, but a couple of things seem clear to me.

    One is that blogs serve very different purposes.

    Consider, for example, Mark Baurlein’s post on 21st century composing–on his blog attached to the Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/review/brainstorm/bauerlein/the-ncte-report-on-writing-in-the-21st-century

    Given its ideological inflection, the post is not reasonable in the way we expect a credible claim to be reasonable. At the same time, however, the comments of the readers, when placed next to his argument (some of which require him to revise his argument), give what we might consider a pretty accurate account of the differing perspectives on this issue.

    So, a question: in deciding on a blog’s credibility, how/do we count the responses?

    Two is that, in some cases, blogs are providing space for information we’ve never had available. Consider the site Patients Like Me: http://www.patientslikeme.com/

    This is a blog where patients (and their advocates) can upload information about their diseases, including factors like onset of symptoms, duration of symptoms, date of diagnosis, and so on. This information is then aggregated to provide a fuller picture of the disease based on the self-reports of the native informants (ie, patients). Now, we might say that this information is subject to the same cautions we issue about self-reports generally. But we might also note that we’ve never had this kind of compilation.

    Question: how do we treat this kind of compilation? Are there ways to speak to its credibility?

  2. Some Quick Tips on Wordles

    Purpose: various uses
    Writing – overused diction – style, syntax, visual scaffold for the main idea, identification of parts of speech
    Creativity – element of expression, tool for differentiation, tool for increasing participation
    Literature – graphic organizer, literary analysis – characterization, setting, tone

    Audience: all teachers and all students

    Help: not needed, collaborative idea sharing among departments

    Step by Step:


    1. Once you arrive at the site, you can view other Wordles or create your own.
    2. To create your own Wordle you can type words into the box on the screen or copy and paste. We suggest that you copy and paste from a saved Word document because the Wordle site does not save the typed text once your Wordle is created.
    3. You are able to modify the color, font, and arrangement of your Wordle with the tool buttons on the page.

    Advice About How it Can Misfire

    Printing can be difficult. Choose printing from print screen or directly from the site depending upon your assignment.

    Assessment of Process and Text

    Assessment can be formal or informal. It should be guided by the assignment.

    Extension of Project

    t-shirts, collage, bulletin boards, greeting cards

    Complements to Project

    Include it the digital portfolio.
    Use it as a part of the writing process – prewriting or revision
    Alternate mode of reflection

    Other Comments

    This is non specific. It is adaptable for many different types of assignments in English classrooms among all grade levels.



  3. […] to present with Kathi Yancey, and she is currently in the middle of her session about “Blogging Alive,” asking participants to think about the purposes and audiences for […]

  4. […] to present with Kathi Yancey, and she is currently in the middle of her session about “Blogging Alive,” asking participants to think about the purposes and audiences for […]

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