Categories
Blogging

make academic blogging mainstream

I’ve spent the morning reading blog articles on and perusing academic blogs as assigned by Berne, Jamie, and Hans. The highlight for me is Moving to the Public: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom Charles Lowe, who argue that writing in a public space is rhetorically and pedagogically powerful – perhaps more than the (more comfortable) private journal writing and writing in the protected space of the online or face to face classroom.

But reviewing the range of blogs and articles on academic blogging that the Berne, Jamie, and Hans set up for us brought home much we (BSU, BSU English, BSU Comp/Rhet) are missing out. We are slow in getting our blogshit together in a larger, more organized, better supported way – beyond the scattered, isolated use in some classes by a few brave teachers. Our GAs are on the front line with personal/academic blogs of their own, and experimenting with blogs in support of CW I and II. But these are experiments when they could be mainstream, timid moves that could be leaps.

This isn’t a matter of keeping up with the U Warwick, U of M, or Purdue, who have organized ways of offering blogs to students and faculty, so much as squandering opportunities for teaching and learning.

Reminder: Watch for the next round of development grants.

Categories
Wikis

wikis in business

This is easy to forsee: Boston.com: New tools making online work easier

I get a little apprehensive when business interests wrap themselves around open source tools. Business is discovering wikis and blogs, and is getting ready to market what is freely available to the business punters under the rubric of “social media.”

Appropriation is nothing new, and it does end up spreading the wealth broader and further than we’ve done so far.

But I wonder if users of the new social media are really going to find it all that much easier than email exchanges. They are going to run into the same social apprehensiveness we see every semester in working with wikis. Working together is inherently difficult.

Categories
Wikis

rumination on why wiki works and not

IRRODL: Educational Wikis: features and selection criteria
makes this observation

Godwin-Jones (2003) suggests that wikis may be ideal for building communities of practice by creating a collective repository of expertise in a subject area, which is refined over time by the contributions and problem-solving of interested individuals. It is this function that distinguishes communities of practice from other online communities, such as chat groups or bulletin boards.

a reference to this

Blogs can be highly personal, wikis are intensely collaborative. They feature a loosely structured set of pages, linked in multiple ways to each other and to Internet resources and an open-editing system in which anyone can edit any page. […] Such a system only works with users serious about collaborating and willing to follow the group conventions and practices.

Teaching with wikis draws on principles that comp/rhet theory have been teaching for years: the use of collaborative, project-based, guide on the side learning, letting students assert genuine autonomy over the process and product in a genuine writing space. To work, wikis require committment. The payback is expertise in a powerful writing space that can change what and how we work, what we can do with writing.

I suspect that wikis will be valuable in courses that frame themselves in convenience and utility because wiki requires commitment that goes beyond the course itself.

Categories
General

2004 blog postings lost

I’ve given up trying to recover blog postings I made using pmachine (2004 – 5). I extracted them from the mysql database into a text file, but text would have to be concatenated, images replaced, everything reposted… Too much trouble for too little return. The photos of Blue are on .Mac for now. But I’ll move forward rather than trying to step back.

Categories
General

test post

For a moment, all the posts on this blog disappeared. I found them in the mysql database, and they were the only data from the database that wasn’t being placed correctly on the page. All this in Safari – even after restarting Apache. But when I viewed the blog with IE, all was well.

Might have been a php call failure followed by a refusal to purge the browser cache. Or gremlins.

Categories
General

blue at seven months

I’m trying to bring the pmachine database back to life. While we wait, here’s Blue at seven months.

Blue at seven months

Categories
Wikis

WikiLand and UBCWiki

WikiLand: A good intro to wikis by Brian Lamb, on one of the better edu wikis, UBCWiki

And if you’re looking for an introductory treat, try WikiRadio. It’s about community, people.

Categories
General

yet again

I’ve moved, for the third time. The old blog is in a mysql database on a backup somewhere, and I’m going to try to recover it. But easy come, easy go.