The sun has finally come out here in the Cévennes in the South of France and holidays suddenly seem not so far away. I have a feeling the length of my posts will shorten as temperatures go up. Watch this space…
I have got down to the nitty-gritty of creating the on-line course since I last posted and am playing around with chats, wikis, writing workshops and glossaries to see how best I can get on-line students who don’t know each other to work together in groups. It’s starting to take shape. Slowly, slowly. I have decided to leave the choice of groups up to them according to on-line affinities and the subject-matter they choose for their blog. They will be able to chat informally together and use wikis for collaborative writing. I shall try and get them to use forums to set the grading criteria themselves and then they can assess their peers using the grading scale they have created themselves via a writing workskhop.
I came across a very interesting paper written by John Benson and Jessica Reyman of Northern Illinois University in 2007 on public writing this week in which the authors discuss blogging in the context of network literacy and argue its pedagogical usefulness concerning the development of audience awareness, genre awareness, social engagement and critical thinking regarding the effects of technology on writing. They conclude that blogging as a required part of their composition class helped undergraduate students understand writing as ‘a social, collaborative activity’.
The importance of social engagement, legitimacy of voice and taking responsibility for one’s writing, all of which are central to blogging, are taken up in another form in the preface to Education et medias, La créativité à

testl’ère numérique (2016), when Laurence Corroy stresses that the creative dimension to media education is vital.

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She defines this as the ability of pupils to express themselves in an autonomous manner in order to produce new phrases whilst using the best-adapted media. She goes on to say that if this is not done in media education, there is a real risk of rupture between pupils who have the necessary social and cultural capital to seize opportunities to express themselves and those who do not have the assurance that their voices are legitimate.
« Si l’éducation aux médias ne se saisit pas de la dimension créative comme une dimension fondamentale – entendu comme la capacité à s’exprimer de façon autonome, afin de produire des énoncés nouveaux en utilisant les moyens médiatiques les mieux adaptés – le risque de fracture est bien réel, entre :
– ceux qui disposent du capital culturel et social pour se saisir au mieux des possibilités sd ‘expression offertes engager des dialogues matures avec les adultes et prendre ainsi une place dans la cité ;
– et les autres qui ne sont pas portés par l’assurance que leur voix est légitime. »
On the subject of academic writing check out this great blog by Pat Thompson, Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham. It’s full of fascinating posts such as the one entitled metabloggery in which she points out that blogging is the perfect place for playing around with voice. She also says that the average post length is between 800 and 1000 words so this week, at 600 I am definitely short. You were warned!



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