I guess in some ways I have answered my own questions about blogs, the ones I had when I started this project. Way back in January I asked What is a Blog? I didn’t have any good answer then. But as the weeks have passed, I have figured out what a blog is to me.
My blog is somewhere between a personal journal my husband’s ideas of a blog way back in January. (He has, by the way, changed his mind about all this, too, as I have journeyed through the blogosphere.) It is obviously personal because I write about things that matter to me. I am not, however, telling you about my daily life, my thoughts and desires. Instead, I tell you (if there is a “you” out there reading) about what I have read and learned and what I think about it.
What I certainly didn’t understand back in January is the interaction that comes with blogs. We learn from each other. We learn to care about each other. This, to me, is the greatest advantage to using blogs. I think in particular of Anne Davis’ posts on her blog, EduBlog Insights, about her class and students’ blogs. She invites the reader to care about her students, to interact with them. There is no way as effective as the blog for doing this. At least none that I know of. How else could I have gotten to know about Patrick and his passion to pass fifth grade? But now, thanks to Anne, I know. And I care. I will be more than disappointed if I never learn whether or not he was successful.
So my definition of a blog now would have to include the word “communication”, just as Nathan said in my original post. It would also have to include “caring” and “connection”. I am reminded of what Will said awhile back
But the one thing the blog allows me to do that I could not do easily in my classroom before is to link, to connect ideas, to make transparent my thinking about those ideas, and to have others link to them and do the same. I’ve been down this road before, I know, many times in fact. But it is the essential piece of Weblogs to me: blogs allow me to create content in ways I could not before, not just post what I could create otherwise in a different form
There is still so much to learn!