After more than two years blogging on Blogger, I finally clicked on “Next Blog”. I had always been curious but had never taken the time to check it out. I had heard horror stories of kids in school clicking on it and getting some inappropriate content, and I guess I figured that I wasn’t all that intereted in what I might find. But tonight I clicked on it, and I was really amazed by what I found.
The first blog I got was in Chinese. I am not sure what it was about, but it had pictures of food and a few words in English. I thought that was pretty cool, so I clicked again and got a blog in Russian. And the third time I clicked, I got one in Portuguese. Finally on the fourth click I got one in English — on Permaculture, of all things. The fifth one was in Spanish.
All of this got me wondering about the percentage of blogs that are not written in English. I know I have read about this before, but I don’t remember what I read. I could see asking my students (adults) to do a little investigation on the subject. They could do informal research by starting at my blog and clicking “Next Blog” say ten times. For each blog they come to, they could be asked to write like an annotated bibliography in which they tell what language it is written in and, to the best of the student’s ability to figure it out from photos or other clues if he/she can’t read that language, tell what the focus of the blog seems to be.
This project could serve several purposes. It would give students a chance to do independent research. It would give them a reason to read a number of blogs, and it would give them the opportunity to write. Of all of these, though, I think I am most interested in the blog reading they would do. I have yet to really get my students to read blogs. This would be one way to give them a chance to see what is out there. From there, then, it might be easier to ask them to find a certain number of blogs on a topic they are interested in and read them regularly.
Too bad I may not have students to try this with next semester.