I’ve set up a free WordPress blog for Technologies and Literacies, which begins today. We’re asking the students to blog each week, and to respond to classmates’ posts. We toyed with the idea of each student having a blog, but we liked the idea of everyone on the same blog as a way of showing class community. We also went back and forth a bit over the prompt; should it be a specific question tailored to each week’s readings? But it’s pretty clear that an open-ended, informal, reflective assignment is a best fit for the blogging environment, and for the class. So the assignment is as follows:
"Our class blog will be a space for us to informally exchange
ideas based on our readings, as well as our own personal experiences
and insights drawn from our encounters with ‘new’ literacies. Blog
posts will generally be due on Tuesday, while responses to others’
posts will be due on Thursday.
You are also welcome to use the blog to reflect on any other topics
related to technology and new literacies or to the class itself, to
collect links to interesting sites as you come across them on the web,
to share stories of encounters with new literacies and technology in
I like the idea of multiple registers for the class; they’ll be writing two short papers in a formal academic style, and then blogging informally. I’m under no illusions that this won’t be a challenge for most of them; when you’ve had classes = formal academic writing schooled into you for 18 some-odd years, it’s a hard habit to break. I think I’m going to post as well, at least for the first couple of weeks, to model content and style. So, we’ll see how it goes.
And can I say how impressed I am with WordPress? I know that it’s been one of the more popular blogging platforms lately, but I had no idea that they give away WordPress blogs. Blogger is laughable in comparison; WordPress gives you categories, the ability to easily add a blogroll, gorgeous templates that are very tweakable, and all the trackback and tagging bells and whistles. Did I mention that it’s free? I pay $9 a month for this here TypePad blog, and I’m not sure that I’m getting a whole lot more. Although I must say, TypePad’s user interface is definitely friendlier. Anyway, WordPress seems to be a great option for someone looking for a free blog with some oomph.