Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bloggers of Yesterday & Today

I overheard some talk recently about which historical figures would have been bloggers if they were alive today. Thinking about it now, it brought back images from the movie Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures (see this site for more information about this late 80's "blockbuster").

Some suggestions are more obvious, like Thomas Paine and the dissemination of his Common Sense pamphlet prose, while others are more debatable such as John Adams or Benjamin Franklin who helped mold a nation. Others still are in contention... those who caused others to stop and think about the world in which they lived (or will live) like Karl Marx and George Orwell.

Ideally that's what blogging can be about... a means to share thoughts, theories, ideas or even to stir up discourse, debate and controversy with one's perceptions of what is or isn't reality (or the effects and consequences of that reality).

Some would argue that this is how one learns: by being challenged and prompted to formulate and defend a response. Many teachers propose this type of learning in the form of a written paper, but blogging can add more dimensions by: 1) allowing for more than just the original formulation of the idea with multiple entries, 2) adding hyperlinks to the entry as a quick reference or supporting documentation, and 3) allowing for others to respond, question and challenge a entry in the form of comments or by setting up a "group blog" with multiple contributors. Ideally, through blogging the blogger (i.e.-learner) gets multiple chances to think, formulate, respond and refine based on the valuable input from others.

So back to our famous bloggers. Who do you think, if still alive, would be (or would NOT be) a blogger today? Add your comments or suggestions below in the comments section.

On a similar note... What about "Professors Who Blog"? See what they are "talking" about at this site.

And lastly, for more information about blogs and how they can be used in your classroom, Educause has a wonderful 2-page PDF summary, 7 Things You Should Know About Blogs .

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