This semester, I am teaching three courses (with two sections of the science writing course), so I have been quite busy setting courses up and introducing students to the Moodle course pages and the social media tools I use in education. Although I have a small business in educational support (mentioned in other posts), I am employed by Thompson Rivers University to teach these particular courses this semester. It is important for me to state clearly that the opinions and claims made in this blog are my own and should not be taken to reflect TRU policies at any organizational level.
In the courses I am teaching, I have assigned each student to establish and contribute to a blog.Students in the science writing course have been encouraged to create a blog on some aspect of science they are interested in. Students in the professional and business writing courses have been encouraged to create the sort of blog that could support some serious academic, professional, or business endeavor. Some of the students are quite eager to begin blogging, while others are unsure of a topic to settle on. Once every student is on board with this project, I should have about 150 new blogs to add to my reading list. I hope I can keep up with them!
Along with writing in their own blogs, I am encouraging students to read each other's blogs. I intend to use this format as a forum where students can practice the skills of dialogue (reading, commenting, quoting, linking, and so forth) in the blogosphere. Although it is not a requirement for the courses, I hope that my students will get readers from the 'outside'. Even a few scholars or professionals who would interact with the students would significantly raise the self-image of these new writers. Future entries on this blog will likely link to many of these new student blogs.