Post: Thing 4

Thing 4

Blog posts I read:

http://blog.mrmeyer.com/?p=133

http://www.halcyon.com/arborhts/mahlness/2007/02/is-this-ssr-20.html

http://betch.edublogs.org/2009/01/06/the-myth-of-the-digital-native/

http://www.evenfromhere.org/?p=90&cpage=1#comment-1333

http://sddc.blogspot.com/2009/02/upside-down-pop-quiz.html

1. What do you notice about the genre of blog writing in general?

It’s personable and chatty. Punctuation refreshers would be useful for the authors. Editing is definitely needed. Here is the opening paragraph from the third blog I read:

“We hear a lot about the notion of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants  … It makes an [sic] presumption that those born after [sic and HUH??] the widespread introduction of digital technologies are somehow out of step with the world of technology, while those who were born and raised in the digital age are naturally able to function within it.”

It’s a shame to have these typos in the introductory paragraph of an otherwise thoughtful post. They must have been there for donkey’s years, and no one has bothered to fix them.  In general, the lack of careful proofreading is something I notice.

2. How is blog reading different from other types of reading? How is it similar?

Different: you’ve got to navigate around –meaning can only be ascertained after conquering the graphics and the layout. The sense of talking to other people is noticeable. On hard copies I could underline and comment in the margin for my own use. (Yeah, yeah, I can print it up – and I often do, but confined to the machine, the reading, for me, is actually less engaged.

3. How is blog writing different from other types of writing? How is it similar?

Seems pretty much the same as all media these days, rather imprecise and chummy, trying to convince me or to sell me something, an idea or a program of action.  (“This is the future of education”, Michael Hardogan shouts, as if the future won’t happen unless we all become believers.)

As for different, I don’t sense any “style” that’s any different from the pages of magazines  – it’s all of a piece with popular prose. High in the vernacular, low in inspired flights of prose. I honestly don’t think this is some kind of break with the use of the English language in the past. What is most noticeable is the insistent interest in the author and his likes, dislikes, physical problems, emotional reactions: this is remarkably self-referential prose.

3. How does commenting contribute to the writing and meaning-making?

It can’t contribute to the writing, that’s already done and carved in pdf. Meaning-making? Well, the comments are pretty much congratulatory (directed to the author or to the self) or about the commenter himself or his methods (as was my comment to the last piece, on pop quizzes, which I very much liked) or a long carry-on about the opposite view.  What meaning that gives it, I’m not sure. Occasionally there will be wonderfully responsive and energetic comments.  It’s nice to read them.

4. How can blogging facilitate learning?

I don’t know. How does anything facilitate learning? Your brain works on the thing or it doesn’t.

OK, I suppose that’s glib. It facilitates learning the way ANY exchange facilitates learning, as it did with Aristotle in the Academia, as it does with a professor at MIT in a colloquy, or on-line. What is the GOAL of the learning?, I would ask.

What I REALLY LIKED was learning about permalinks and how to find them. I guess my feeling is that each of us will do what we wish with this stuff; what I need, at least, is how to find, access. cite and reproduce stuff that I want to use.

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