16 TL;DR: The Virtues of Blogs in a Classroom Setting

G.W. Currier and Kennedy Essmiller

Learning Objectives

Readers of this section will be able to do the following:

  • explain the differences between blogs and articles.
  • explore their own writing and voices through the act of blogging.
  • to investigate online environments with which they are actively engaged.
  • to practice and refine their digital literacy.

In just about all fields—agriculture, industrial engineering, publishing—we celebrate innovation and technological advances. We don’t really want to farm, build, or print the same way we did 500 years ago, when Gutenberg invented the moveable type. But we can’t ignore those old methods completely. Education isn’t all that different, and although there have been significant advances in the types of technology brought into a classroom (Moodle, Google Drive, Learning Management Systems like Canvas or Blackboard), there hasn’t been an equal use of innovation in methods. We hope in this chapter to change that, even slightly.

Let’s consider two forms of writing most college students are familiar with: blogs and academic articles. Understanding the differences between what blogs and what articles are allows us to understand what blogs and articles can do. Both blogs and articles have purposes as genres (see what follows). Articles are important in part because of their purpose. This means that blogs can be academic or popular, deep or flippant, profound or superficial, professional or personal, spiritual or secular, political or social, private or public; alternately, you could also substitute “and” for each “or” in the previous list, and it would still hold true. Blogs are malleable. In the next pages, we will explore the differences between articles and blogs.


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