19 March, 2007

Blogs: ¨Wisdom of crowds¨ or just more blather?

My links to favorite blog resources are below. But first, as a relatively new adherent of blogs, I have some observations and reactions to share.

Before this semester I never regularly read a blog (much less subscribed to one), and I certainly had never written in one. My encounters with the ¨blogosphere¨ were purely accidental, and my general impression was it was reserved for muckrackers, academics, and people with lots of opinions (to put it mildly).

That has all changed thanks to my Google Reader, which I love, love, LOVE (at the expense of homework, housework, and other work)! I use to bemoan the fact that I never get to read, but after an hour with Google Reader, itś like I have read a very salient, up-to-date, personalized collection of articles handpicked just for me.

But I still have my standards: I will NEVER use ¨blog¨ as a verb. If I do, please call me on it! Itś still just writing, and like everything else on the Internet, there are plenty of useless and poorly written blogs out there. But one phenomenon noted in the Paul Graham article we read earlier in the semester has proven true: the good blogs tend to link to other good blogs and the cream just keeps rising to the top. That is how I have come to subscribe to more than 10 different blogs in my Google Reader. Here are some items of interest:

1) The Fischbowl came to my attention because of a widely circulated PowerPoint presentation that was emailed to me by two different people in the span of just two days. (Can a PowerPoint go viral?) Anyway, my boss wanted me to learn more about the author, Karl Fisch, before we linked to his file from the Great Schools Partnership website, which I help manage. That led me back to ¨The Fischbowl," which is really a professional development forum he created for all the faculty at his high school in Littleton, CO. Very cool model of how one might facilitate a professional learning community at a campus level.

2) From The Fischbowl I learned about Dangerously Irrelevant, an excellent education blog that focuses primarily on instructional technology. The post on ¨Top Edublogs¨ is a good one for educators who are just starting to dabble in the blogosphere. I also found a link to an instructional technology wiki that includes guidelines for teachers and students on how to self-publish, which is something I have been wondering about should I decide to start a classroom blog in the future.

3) Also from The Fischbowl I picked up on Ms. Smithś classroom blog. This blog is designed for student participation in a 9th grade English honors class. For example, one assignment required students to post original poems to which their classmates responded, much as we do in IT 521.

No comments: