In a previous post about using blogging in the classroom wisely, I pointed out that – from a broad perspective – a blog is whatever the author wants it to be. Today, I would like to expand on that statement by examining and comparing blogs and blogging.
PART II: PROFESSIONALS
(DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES AND COMPLETE FRUSTRATION, THIS POST WILL BE BROKEN DOWN INTO TWO PARTS, STUDENTS AND PROFESSIONALS.)
Professionals Blogging –
Stephen’s Web is the blog of Stephen Downes, a well-known researcher of new media and online learning pedagogy. He produces the OLDaily, which is really a daily collection of blogs, links, and online resources. His blog also acts as a repository for the author’s presentations and articles so that they are freely accessible to any reader. The name of his blog has (at least) a double meaning since it is located on the Web, includes content about the Web, and also forms a web with its myriad of interwoven connections and resources.
Digital Delights “Connecting Online Education” is an ongoing collection of resources on new media and online education – everything from blog posts to slide presentations to podcasts to journal articles – curated by Ana Cristina Pratas. I <3 this site! Sometimes she includes her interviews with notables in the field, but she is not the creator/author of most of the items found here. Anyone can suggest an item for her consideration. Cristina Sky Box is the site of Ana Cristina’s regular blog. Along with her posts, Ana includes a wide variety of resources for education. From reviews of ed tech tools to sites for teachers to organized support resources for the virtual classroom.
The major difference that I see between these two blogs is that while Stephen includes outside resources in the OLDaily, his blog seems to primary serve as an access port for his own work. Now, in his defense, Mr. Downes is a prolific speaker and writer in addition to being a change agent and innovator of online learning pedagogy. Ana’s blog, on the other hand, seems to serve as a library of teacher and teaching resources.
Unlike Stephen’s mostly text review of the day’s highlights (above left), Ana uses graphics, photos, and titles to represent each resource entry (above right). I find it much easier to filter content quickly and select those items of greatest interest to me when it is presented this way.
Blogs and blogging as a professional are obviously different from the blogs and blogging of students. Professionals use their blogs to create and maintain an online presence; to store their work in order to make it available for open access; to share and collaborate with colleagues across disciplines; and to contribute to the existing body of knowledge. It makes sense that professionals would demonstrate a greater level of experience in both their writing and their presentation in addition to a larger quantity of quality content. They have been working at it much longer! ;-)