Blogging in the future

by Mr. Sheehy

I am looking forward this year to introducing students to blogging, as I have found it to be a positive place for a person to express thoughts and hopefully communicate with interested parties. In some ways, I have felt that a blog is an opportunity for an aspiring writer to skip the muddle that is the publishing world and communicate directly with anyone who might care. For this writer, the idea that one person reads a piece may be enough – at least today. I’m obviously speaking autobiographically – just visit the Poetry category of this blog to see how I enjoy publishing a few things here or there. I don’t need to publish a book or have an essay printed in The New Yorker, though those would both be nice. Instead, I’m happy to have my writing stuck somewhere, where, if I choose to show it or if some web-exploerer were curious enough, a person might even read it.

What are my goals with blogs? Today I have two. Tomorrow I may have more, but this is where I’m at:

1) I want students to use a blog as a reflection log. If they can explain their situation in school and the blog keeps it, they can look back at it as the year continues and see the progression of their experience. Maybe by the end I can convince students that they have traveled through their own type of narrative, complete with a dynamic protagonist. This could be particularly helpful when I abandon the official iSearch paper in favor of a more formal research paper (yes, it’s true – maybe I’ll expand on that in another posting). I insert the blog where I once had them write their reflections in the paper itself. Now, they create a second document reflecting on the process, but it has a more formal ring than a spiral-notebook journal.

2) I want them to take ownership of the blogging space. It’s their space, so they can choose the backgrounds and potentially publish more than I require them to publish. I’d like to bait them into publishing their own poetry, stories, or book reviews. I’d like them to post many assignments onto their blogs, but to do so voluntarily. I want students to drive the ship. Once you have a blog, it’s yours.