A Real Teen talks about Blogging and Social Spaces

There seems to be quite a debate raging in the edublogosphere about classroom blogging – what it is, how to do it, and whether it can be done authentically in an educational environment or whether it is even worth pursuing as an academic goal.

I have been following this debate and scratching my head about how to best go about using the blogging spaces to which I have access with my students. As I thrash through this problem – as one who has blogged and communicated in social spaces for a few years now – I am convinced that class blogging, for my students at any rate, has improved their writing skills. Should there be more as a goal? I am not certain. I know that I do want to explore showing my students the benefits of tagging and hyperlinking as they write.

Here are some of the very interesting blog posts that I do recommend reading if you are also interested in this engaging topic:

Blogging to order and control consciousness (Wes Fryer)

Teaching Teaching Teachers (group blog – Paul Allison, Susan Ettenheim)

Asking Questions (Miguel Guhlin)

Educational Blogging with Will Richardson (Steve Hargadon)

Earlier today, I had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with my youngest daughter and the topic of myspace and blogging came up in the course of our conversation. I was intrigued with her use of social spaces, so I asked if she would permit me to audio capture our conversation for a podcast. She agreed.

She and the teens she knows do NOT read blogs and rarely post. They are using myspace, iLike, Facebook, and other social spaces (Fictionpress) for other communication purposes.

When asked about class blogging, Meg responded that it would be something that she would probably enjoy – as long as it was in a safe “walled garden” environment.

Please listen as Meg, a “real” teenager, tells us how teenagers are using these online social spaces.

This is also my first attempt to link a podcast to my blog. Let’s see how it all works out!

Podcast of interview

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5 thoughts on “A Real Teen talks about Blogging and Social Spaces

  1. Thanks Sharon and Meg, for sharing these insights and ideas! You mentioned several websites I had not heard of before, and I really appreciated hearing your thoughts on being safe but still having fun utilizing these social networking sites, Meg. :-)

  2. Hello! I’m Shima from Malaysia. I’ve just started blogging 6 months ago, firstly for self satisfaction but now I would like to do it for educational purposes. I believe in journal writing but blogging is much better. I intend to propose this idea to other teachers in a conference next month and are gathering some materials for my workshop presentation. I’m so happy to come across your blog. Perhaps you have more experiences that you can share with me. Thank you!

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Meg. It was really interesting and very informative to hear a “real teen” talk about some of the spaces they use on the web. I’d only heard of myspace (most of our students are using bebo but haven’t been very “safe” – but we’re working on that ) and I certainly will be checking out fictionpress and the music space you mentioned. I’d quite like to share some of your thoughts with my students too if that’s ok.

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