A number of us just completed a 2-day workshop on technology for a select group of faculty here at Illinois Wesleyan. Naturally 2 days is not enough time to even establish the foundations of enhancing teaching and learning with updated communication and research techniques. We had to blast through a lot of topics and examples of a few of the more ubiquitous tools in quite a hurry. I’m afraid that in the rush we might not have expressed why certain types of technology might be attractive to an already busy faculty member. Here are a few thoughts about what might “seduce” a teacher into authoring a blog:
- at its most basic, blogging is about self-publishing. Anyone with opinions, expertise, or criticisms can simply post to a blog to share it with the world. This sounds a heck of a lot easier (for the casual bits of work) than submitting papers and writing journal articles. A group of undergraduates who tackle heavy scholarly work in a blog could take pride in that work standing up to scrutiny in an extremely public forum.
- Most of the work is done for you. Barbara Ganley referred to a blog as a “vessel” for your content. You don’t have to design a webpage, learn code, or understand how the internet works. You write, you click “publish” and your work is out there. It is automatically archived by date and by categories that you provide.
- Our mission statement says “A liberal education at Illinois Wesleyan fosters creativity, critical thinking, effective communication, strength of character and a spirit of inquiry”. I believe that our faculty will benefit from investigating new means of communication simply by expanding their perspective. I suspect that it is with strength of character and a spirit of inquiry that a teacher must adapt, improve, and learn.