I’ve been asked to be an “official faculty blogger” when William and Mary launches the new college web site in July. The re.web project has been one of the most thoughtfully managed projects that I’ve experienced at any university, and I’m honored to be asked to contribute to the final product in this way. Writing as a faculty blogger opens up a new audience for me, and I’m hoping that it will foster some additional communication and community with the other faculty and students who are also participating.
I’ve used blogs in my own teaching and professional development at least since the term was coined in 1999. My students and I have created (and abandoned!) dozens of general interest and special purpose journals using almost every piece of specialized software that’s been available to us. We write primarily about educational technology issues in K-12, colleges and universities, and adult education. Most of the blogs are focused on class issues and tend to die pretty quickly after the grades are in, but a few have turned into extremely powerful forums for professional development.
I’m currently maintaining two blogs–Techfoot, my primary forum for writing about technology, and a test blog called Academic Technology News , which is an internal journal primarily designed to share technical information with our technology specialists.(The jury is still out on that one, and it could well disappear very shortly.) As a faculty blogger, my writing will still be focused on technology, but for a more general audience.
Blogging has become an integrated part of my teaching and scholarship and that of my students. When it works, blogging permits us to play with ideas in a rough draft format and to get immediate (and candid) feedback from members of our community. The feedback effect on blogs comes much more quickly than in traditional methods of communication and potentially provides a much greater range of ideas.
Here’s hoping that this new forum will bring even more voices to the conversation about teaching, learning and technology at William and Mary.