Paul Allison, NYC teacher
"The idea then would be that if you know how to post to a blog, you automatically know how to assign a blog, and that when you do, the results will in most ways mimic the real-world application of the tool. There are several problems with this assumption. First, while traditional assignment structures do transfer to blog structures fairly cleanly, they do not automatically transform themselves into interactive assignments as a result. In other words, while the blog world might be interactive, the assigned blog can very easily be no more than a complicated way to submit an individual essay. To give another example, while a community-authored blog, in which a group of people collectively author and comment and re-author a blog together, might represent a level-2 or a level-3 level application on O’Reilly’s continuum, a blog used to communicate documents primarily from the individual to the professor or from the professor to the individual, with little or no lateral movement ... - Paul Allison, NYC teacher from Bookmarklet
In the article, Sarah Hurlburt claims--I think correctly--that "personalization of the blog environment is necessary to create the private space effect described by Ducate (2005); it is a necessary component in the construction of a virtual identity for each student which is itself the foundation of any desired social or community effect (Becker & Henriksen, 2006)." However this is only the first of two points she concludes with. The second one is about finding better assessment tools that will allow us to give credit to and guidance for students comments on each others posts. I think this also something we have seen. I guess what I like about her article is that she emphasizes both the need for private-space and the building of a community of readers and responders. - Paul Allison, NYC teacher
I can see this article as a justification for creating another space for academic blogging, particularly Hurlburt's comment that "[I]nstructors need better monitoring tools, tools that will allow them to quietly track student activity through the class blogosphere, tools whose development has been actively suppressed in the public blogosphere because of privacy concerns. …The need for improved tracking tools in next generation LMS, tools that will allow instructors to better evaluate the sometimes-silent successes of blog exercises, is thus clear and pressing. Instructors able to follow the life of the virtual environment more closely from behind the scenes will better perform their role as open facilitator in the virtual learning environment, and in the process greatly increase their odds of success in leveraging the power of social networking software for educational purpose.” I am also intrigued by her beginning statement about the difference between blogging for natural purposes and in the academic sphere - Felicia