Saturday, January 19, 2008

Intro Blog: What's a blog?

Reading Will Richardson’s book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (2006) transformed my understanding of blogs. Richardson defines blogs (weblogs) as “easily updatable Websites that allow an author (or authors) to publish instantly to the Internet from any internet connection” (p.8). He explains that the earliest blogs were web logs, lists of weblinks the author visited, which have evolved into today’s blogs where people can add comments about the author’s thoughts on a website. To see Richardson’s blog and read about his book go to .

Initially, I though blogs were just online personal journals for others to comment on. Richardson states that personal journaling, posting assignments and posting links is not real blogging. (p.32). He defines simple blogging as “links with analysis that gets into the meaning of the content being linked” and real blogging as “links with analysis and synthesis that articulate a deeper understanding or relationship to the content being linked and written with a potential audience response in mind” and complex blogging as “extended analysis and synthesis over a longer period of time that builds on previous posts, links and comments.” I wonder if we will reach a level of complex blogging in this assignment?


steph ippen said...

I like Richardson's clear articulation of 'real blogging' but I can imagine transformative analysis and synthesis being the product of journalling or simple blogging. I am thinking especially of adolescent (and adult) writers reflecting on their own writing.

elizabeth said...

You make a great point here Steph, I know we are attaining an analysis and sythesis level by journaling our thoughts on this experience with web 2.0 tools. What about the providing links aspect combined with our thoughts, do you think that takes the blogging to a new level? Is the blogging for ourselves or for an audience or both?

Will said...

Thanks for reading my book, Elizabeth. And I think you hit on it...links are the gold in all of this. It's what brings audience in, just like I was brought here by your link. These connections are where the transformation takes place.

Hope you like the rest of the book!



Jennifer said...

How cool is it that Will commented on your blog? That just proves how interconnected it all can be!


elizabeth said...

Wow, I didn't realize how the links can bring in others who are interested in your topic! That is astounding. It took me a moment to figure out how Will found my blog. The light is now on! I can just imagine how my students would feel if they were to have real conversations with experts on what they are studying. Way too cool. Thanks for responding Will, I love your book and plan to use it in some professional development with my staff. The explanations and practical applications for Web 2.0 tools in the classroom are great.

Joanne said...

All the comments, but Will Richardson's particularly, really highlight the power of these Web 2.0 tools, I think. The world is a much smaller place and the fact that we can all connect and 'talk' to the big thinkers in our field is a great thing.