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Blogging: Friend or Foe?


The new wave of fast-paced technology has allowed more information to be shared publicly. Blogging, brought on by this new culture of innovation, has become increasingly popular. Bloggers write about many different issues, from politics to fashion, and may allow others to comment on their posts in order to foster a sense of community and the spread of information globally. While some people see blogging as a useful tool, others view it as taking away from the way they were taught to write, and a mere means of providing opinions rather than facts.

Supporters of blogging say that it is a powerful tool to express an idea and receive feedback from many different people with varying backgrounds. At the Institute St. Joseph, the Principal calls blogging “a virtual extension of the classroom”.Blogging has been used for educational purposes, such as teachers posting assignments, receiving assignments, and responding. Also, teachers are able to open the realm of communication further since members of the community can react to current issues that may be discussed in class. Therefore, students are able to learn how to express themselves through writing and can also learn more through their conversations with members of the community.

A quote from the movie Contagion that struck me is, “Blogging is not writing, it’s just graffiti with punctuation.” I remember this from the movie because it made me think about what kind of impact the new wave of blogging may have on the development of writing skills and education. Indeed, critics of blogging believe that it is not real writing, it is teaching kids to write poorly, and it provides little insight. While I believe there are people out there who do not write blogs as eloquently as others, I believe the majority of people who really spend the time blogging are doing it well, and for a good cause.

I learned through my research that many people believe bloggers began receiving recognition only after September 11th occurred. News casters reviewed many blogs during this time to gain more information and have access to video recordings that they otherwise would not have found. Commentator Catherine Seipp recalls, “But after September 11, a slew of new or refocused media junkie/political sites reshaped the entire Internet media landscape. Blog now refers to a Web journal that comments on the news—often by criticizing the media and usually in rudely clever tones—with links to stories that back up the commentary with evidence.” I thought it was really interesting that this tragedy brought so many people together in this way, and was a huge contributor to the development of blogging.

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About alyssakinell

I am a senior Management and Spanish major at Bucknell University. I am originally from East Lyme, Connecticut and I hope to live in a big city after I graduate. If I could be anywhere, I would be on a mountain with fresh powder and hot chocolate. I am incapable of eating a meal without finishing it off with something sweet (generally ice cream).

Discussion

5 thoughts on “Blogging: Friend or Foe?

  1. I really like the ideas you presented here. You also do a good job of presenting an objective analysis in terms of acknowledging the critics. The one thing that struck me in particular was that some critics believe that it teaches students to write poorly. While it may be true that blogging does not necessiate proper writing, including grammar, punctuation, spelling, and general coherensy, I would argue that blogging is invaluable in terms of its encouraging young minds to engage in deep thought and to develop their opinions on a variety of issues. Then, to be able to express these ideas freely and openly in a blog and receive feedback from followers is simply unparalleled as a means of learning. While it may be an unconventional way of teaching and learning, I believe that blogging is more beneficial than harmful.

    Posted by Lauren McGuiggan | January 30, 2012, 8:44 pm
  2. I guess my one thought when discussing the value of blogging is the type of blogging that people do. Certainly, I agree with Lauren that blogging can inspire students to engage in intellectual discussion and form opinions. Nevertheless, the content or type of blogging is important to know when assessing the value of it in education. A blog on US politics, World History, or discussing world history for example would definitely support the argument that it can be more beneficial than harmful. That being said, often times blogging revolves around popular celebrities, gossip, and television. This type of blogging offers little to no educational value. I would argue that a larger proportion of young bloggers are talking about these topics as opposed to intellectually stimulating ones.

    Posted by JOEY MARTIN | January 30, 2012, 11:01 pm
  3. Alyssa, your reference to September 11th contributing to the popularity of blogging is intriguing to me and an idea that I have never come across before. So, thank you for shedding light on this fascinating subject for me! Thanks to blogging and social media as a whole, society discovers and reacts to world events much differently than we used to. In a media class that I took while abroad, we discussed how new forms of media such as blogging and Twitter are actually changing the emotional experience that we as individuals are having with the outside world. How much more of an “isolated” event would 9/11 have been if it wasn’t for the Internet? Americans feel a sense of closeness to this tragedy largely as a result of technology. Because of the Internet and the sharing and publication of ideas through blogging, the once abstract notion of a “global community” is actually a reality.

    Posted by Beth O'Brien | January 31, 2012, 4:27 pm
  4. This is my first class where blogging has been a weekly activity. Although it seemed intimidating to share my written thoughts with other students, I think it is extremely valuable for learning. We are all accustomed to sharing our opinions with each other aloud, but I think blogging presents a new challenge for us in the classroom setting because we must express ourselves through written word. It is also valuable for us to read each other’s thoughts and have a written conversation with multiple students on a particular topic. I see my writing skills only improving throughout the semester with the addition of blogging to the curriculum.

    Posted by Lauren Daley | January 31, 2012, 5:27 pm
  5. I have never had to write on a blog for a class. I have never written a blog myself. I am about as new to this as it gets. However, I do recognize the growing importance of blogging, and the asset it can be in educational environments. I think that collaboration is growing at an incredible rate, and we should be prepared and trained in every venue that promotes collaboration. Right now, blogging is one of the most prominent of those venues.

    Posted by Ryan E | January 31, 2012, 9:14 pm

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BLOG INSTRUCTIONS

Blog 5 before session 6 What (interest) or Who (person) Inspires You? For this week’s prompt, the Blog Council wants you to examine how this class relates to your own interests. So, please write about how this class relates to some of your own intellectual or other learning interests. We are NOT interested in how it relates to a specific career goal. Plan B: same idea, but based on a person. See whole post for details.

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