Monday, November 06, 2006

e-tivity 3: summary

Summary of your reflections on the blogosphere

Reading your reflections was like reading a summary of the literature on the educational uses of blogs. Many of your reflections had elements in common. I think you’d all agree on the following conclusions, with quotes from you all:

- a blog is an online forum for expressing and sharing ideas: “A blog is a website that provides commentary or news on a particular subject or where you can tell personal experiences, express your thoughts and ideas on various topics, as you do in a personal diary; but here the difference is that it is on line, so you can share your opinions with millions of people from all over the world and let them to post some comments on your blog.” (Daniela)

- the blogosphere is huge (Lara) and it’s easy to get lost so you have to develop your search skills;

- blogs are about reading and “you can learn new words and some constructions that you would have never used before” (Valentina)

- blogs are about writing, they encourage “students’ initiative to write” (Alice)

- blogs are an interesting and fun way to work on your English; “Blogging gives us the chance to express our “voice” and to develop our interests without any particular constraints.” (Alice)

- blogs are about colloquial English and this is in contrast with what you have mostly studied up to know in your university careers, “the informal part, that we usually do not get to know in the classroom. (Isabella)

- not everything on the blogosphere is in good, correct English; you have to develop your critical assessment skills to differentiate between good blogs and bad ones, correct English and incorrect English: “Of course I also believe that a basis of grammar and formal-English rules should be part of a student's knowledge before getting into the blogosphere in order to be able to single out what sometimes unfortunately in internet is not good English for your learning.” (Francesca)

And Daniele sums it up nicely: “The world of blogs also represents a useful instrument in the process of linguistic learning both from an active and a passive point of view, because, on the one hand, when you write you have the possibility to improve your expressive skills; on the other hand, when you read other people's blogs you can come into contact with the informal language, a language which, although it is neglected by universities, it is very rich and versatile in everyday life.”

I decided to use your words because they perfectly express my beliefs on blogging. Glad to know you’re enjoying it (even if at times it can be frustrating) and I hope you continue to enjoy our journey just as much in the future. You’ve all done an exceptional job!


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