Here’s an article on the benefits of blogging with a class. While Fraser discusses the connection between the classroom and the real world that can be made through blogging, I have my students focusing on something slightly different in their blogs. As English majors we’re often justifying our degrees. yes we read literature for fun and love it, but English degrees are much more complex than that. At my institutions students must complete credits in Literature, Linguistics, Creative Writing and Rhetoric. While connected, these courses offer very different perspectives on writing and the culture surrounding writing. They also expect very different final products from student writing. Many of my students have creative writing poetry classes, where they experiment with prose and peer review, then after a 20 minute break they come to my class to discuss rhetoric, discursive practices, identity representations, and community formations in digital space. Both of these courses are Capstone English courses. Students are then charged with creating a resume that expresses their diverse experience in undergraduate coursework that makes them excellent candidates for jobs of their choosing. For this reason, I encourage (alright, require) my students to blog, and use their blog as part of their digital application portfolio. If they post about my course and other courses, they can provide potential employers digital representations of their understanding of culture, and their ability to adapt to new learning situations and thrive within those situations. They also experience the difficulty of maintaining a digital portfolio
– how often must they post to adequately represent themselves,
-what topics should they cover,
-what prose should they use?
These complex decisions represent not just metacritical thinking about writing, about their major, and about their student experience within that major, these blogs represent the students as critical makers, expressing themselves as English majors somewhere besides the traditional essay. I love everything Fraser advocates with a class blog, I also want to add my reasoning to the digital conversation. Students creating blogs make arguments for who they are as students and how their education makes them strong candidates for professional positions after college.