October is apparently “Connected Educator Month” so it seems appropriate to add to our Westfield State blog on technology by briefly discussing the use of blogs in academia. Inspired by Worcester State history professor Tona Hangen, I returned to using blogs as a writing platform to discuss my thoughts on books, teaching history, my role as a union representative, and the odd “popular culture” thought or two. I had experimented with blog use in my high school classrooms while teaching in Los Angeles, and then used a similar setup when I first arrived at Westfield State for my US History survey courses and my American Colonial history class.
I found the tools worked to mixed degree of success due to an existing online platform used at Westfield State. I migrated most of the assignments to that location, providing a digital home for my classes and the basic platform of what became some online course. At any rate, Pr. Hangen’s blog (links below and mentioned on previous blogposts) is an exemplar of academic blogging. The site expertly combines her teaching, research, and public outreach interests. I have used her academic blogging as a framework for my own. Below the links to Pr. Hangen’s material, you’ll see a few other links to materials from other sources on the nature of blogging in the classroom and academia in general. Happy experimenting!
http://www.tonahangen.com/blog/ – introduces the reader to Pr. Hangen’s work
http://www.tonahangen.com/2014/04/chunking-the-chapter/ – specific example of how Pr. Hangen uses the blog to map out how assignments function in her class
http://www.tonahangen.com/projects/digitalworcester/ – a favorite of mine as I went to undergraduate school in Worcester; here Pr. Hangen has helped her students create a digital history project that gets them thinking about the history of the personal and preserves the heritage of an urban, industrial New England region
http://www.lsa.umich.edu/UMICH/sweetland/Home/Instructors/Teaching%20Resources/UsingBlogsintheClassroom.pdf – Using blogs in the classroom from U. of Michigan
http://www.mindthesciencegap.org/style-guide/good-practice-guide-for-writing-science-blog-posts/ – example – U of Michigan, “Mind the Science Gap” blog
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/integrating-evaluatingmanaging-blogging-in-the-classroom/22626 – Chronicle of Higher Education article on blogging in the classroom
lessons from a first time course blogger
http://socialtheoryapplied.com/2013/05/07/using-blogging-in-academic-research/ – Using blogging in academic research