Blogging Reading

As a result of Computers & Writing 2010, I have a lot of reading to do.

One of the articles I want to start with is Cheryl C. Smith’s “Technologies for Transcending a Focus on Error.” I can tell it’s fascinating stuff just from the abstract.

How are the internet and its online spaces for open exchange changing reading and writing practices, and how can we capitalize on these changes in composition instruction? This article traces the author’s experiment with blogging in her first-year writing class and considers how and why blogs help students negotiate the unfamiliar demands of college writing and enter into a more democratic arena for learning where their voices and arguments gain fuller, freer expression. In particular, the article proposes that the space of the blog, which is familiar to many students, opens up possibilities for risk-taking and interactivity that teach important lessons about the role of error and audience response in the composing process. As students rethink and revise their initial ideas, working off one another’s comments, they develop more authority as critics with valued opinions and voice and let go of some of their fear about making mistakes that can prevent inexperienced writers from discovering and communicating their best arguments. By embracing the inventive and often messy space of blogs in composition instruction, students and teachers alike can evolve a new view of what it means to learn to write—and write effectively—in academic settings.

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