Content of Blog Posts:
A good citizen of our society should be not only well informed, but also an active and reliable source of information. As a practice of good citizenship, each week assigned students will post a blog post where they share, respond, and start a discussion around current events, developments, issues related to digital media technologies, and technology more broadly. Ideally, the current events, developments, issues you choose to share should be related to the topics we are discussing in class that week, and refer to readings that are due that week. However, if you want to share and discuss current events, developments, issues that are different than the topics that are covered in class that week that is fine too.
To find information on current events, developments, and issues, you should find and ‘like’ technology related groups on Facebook, and ‘follow’ people and/or groups on Twitter, and regularly check technology related blogs and websites for current news.
Here are some of blogs and websites you can check regularly or subscribe to receive technology related news and information:
New York Times, Slashdot.org, Wired Magazine, PCWorld Magazine, ReadWriteWeb, MacArthur Foundation Spotlight blog on Digital Media and Learning,The Daily Beast, TechSpot, GameSpot, Zephoria, TEDtalk, Geek.com, Wall Street Journal, etc.
Twitter, especially, is an incredibly powerful tool and a faster way to find information related to technology. All you need to do is to follow the right users. Check out the users @soc334 follow on twitter to get an idea about who to follow.
Structure of Blogging:
Each student will be responsible for (a) posting a total of two blog posts throughout the semester (see the schedule below) and (b) responding to other people’s blog posts each week. Students who are responsible for posting a blog post on a given week can post their blog post anytime between Sunday (10:00am) and Thursday (12:00pm). Other students can post their responses to the blog posts anytime between Thursday (12:00pm) and Sunday (10:00am) and have a choice to respond to one or more of the blog posts.
Here’s an example:
Kelli, Ethan, Jeff are assigned to post on Week 3 (Sept. 10&12). The scheduled topics for Week 3 are web 2.0 technologies and emerging forms of communication and community, and there are four readings assigned. Kelli, Ethan, and Jeff can post their blog posts anytime between Sunday (Sept. 9) (10:00am) and Thursday (Sept. 13) (12:00pm). The rest of the class can respond to Kelli’s, Ethan’s, and/or Jeff’s blog posts and engage in a discussion anytime between Thursday (Sept.13) (starting at noon) and Sunday (Sept 16) (until 10am).
IMPORTANT: Those who are assigned to post blog posts that week should coordinate and communicate about what they are planning to post to avoid content duplication or overlap. You can coordinate in person or use Twitter, Facebook, or personal e-mails to coordinate.
|Week 3||Kelli, Ethan, Jeff|
|Week 4||Tim T., Jordan N.,|
|Week 5||Tim T., Scott, Jazmyn|
|Week 6||Megan, Katie|
|Week 7||Jordan H., Jazmyn|
|Week 8||Shawn, Debra, Jordan N.|
|Week 9||Kelli, Kelsey, Megan|
|Week 10||Shawn, Jeff, Scott|
|Week 11||Lauren, Ethan, Katie|
|Week 12||Sammy, Debra, Jordan H.|
|Week 13||Sammy, Sydney|
|Week 14||David, Tim A., Kelsey|
|Week 15||Lauren, Sydney|
|Week 16||Tim A., David|
Tips for Writing Great Blog Posts:
#1: Eye-catching title: There are two or three blog posts posted every week, so make sure that your blog post stands out and catches the eyes of your classmates.
#2 Make people read more with your introduction: An eye-catching title will make your classmates to look at the blog post but the first sentence will make them read it and make comments. You can start with a quote, ask a question, and/or reveal a stat. Inspire curiosity. Make your introduction short and to the point. The introduction should basically frame the content of your blog post. For instance, you should give the reader why you care to share the news/information with the rest of the world, your perspective on the issue/topic/event, how and/or why you find it a problem or an opportunity.
#3 Keep an authentic, conversational tone: Your writing should engage the reader and make them feel like they are in a conversation with you.
#4 Summarize all your points through subheadings: Make sure subheadings capture your points and stands out. Have short text under subheadings that explains your point. Use examples, metaphors, and stories to make your points. Embed images and videos to support your narrative.
#5 Make sure to tag your blog post. Tag your blog post with relevant keywords.
Note you can always do an online search to find tips for how to write good blog posts.
Tips for Writing Great Comments:
#1 Provide Context: Make sure to clarify what aspects of the blog post you are responding to.
#2 Be Respectful: Avoid inflammatory and inappropriate language. Don’t use the words that seem mean-spirited or negative. Don’t argue with an opinion that you don’t agree with. Point out weakness in the arguments or in how the blogger presents that argument.
#3 Make a point/Move the conversation forward: “I agree”, “I disagree”, “This is a wonderful post”, “Great job”, “Good point” type of comments are not meaningful contribution and do nothing to move the conversation forward.
Examples of blog postings and comments that demonstrate higher levels of thinking:
- “Some common themes I see between your experiences and our textbook are….” (analysis)
- “These newer trends are significant if we consider the relationship between ….” (synthesis)
- “The body of literature should be assessed by these standards ….” (evaluation)
Rubric for Main Blog Posts
Your blog post will be evaluated on three dimensions: content contribution, reference & support, and clarity & mechanics. You can earn up to 15 points per blog post. Since you each will post blog posts twice, you can earn up to 30 points towards your final grade in a semester.
|Content Contribution||The blog post is related to the course content. It demonstrates the author’s perspective. Each point is fully developed. The blog post sparks discussion and conversation.||The blog post is somewhat related to the course content. It vaguely demonstrates author’s perspective. Not all points are fully developed. It somewhat sparks discussion and conversation.||Posts information that is incorrect, or irrelevant to the course.|
|Reference&Support||The blog post references to literature, readings, personal experience, and factual information to support argument.||The blog post incorporates some references from literature and personal experience. At times, the author fails to support his/her argument.||Includes no references or supporting experience.|
|Clarity & Mechanics||The blog post demonstrates a clear, concise and coherent use of language. The blog post has an easy to read style and is free of grammatical or spelling errors.||The blog post at times hard to read. It includes minor grammar and spelling errors. It has minor issues of clarity or and coherence.||The blog post is unorganized, unclear, and incoherent. It includes multiple grammar and spelling errors.|
Rubric for Comments
For comments, you will each earn a set of points for your overall participation and contribution during that week. You can earn up to 5 points for your comments and online participation each week. Since you each will post comments for a total of 14 weeks, you can earn up to 70 points towards your final grade in a semester.
||Posts shallow contribution to discussion (e.g. agrees or disagrees); does not enrich discussion.||Posts no comments|