Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Web Writing Technologies: Wikis & Blogs

As a literature instructor, I've become fascinated with the power of digital writing technologies to transform students' notions of publication, information, the writing process, and, most importantly, their own relationship to the written (typed?) word. When I was designing my syllabi for two recent courses (Technologies of Writing and Time Travel in Fiction), I found a number of helpful examples and general information online that I collected using the online bookmarking application I decided to post a few of the most interesting and useful links I came across below.

Blogs 101
The article "What We're Doing When We Blog" written by blogger co-creater, Meg Hourihan, offers a great overview of blogs--especially for students who carry preconceived notions of what blogs are and what they're for (i.e. not just teenage rants online). Technorati's list of popular blogs is a helpful resource for amassing lists of examples to scan through. New York Magazine offers a satisfyingly brief account of the blog's "Early Years." Will Richardson's site weblogged is a great resource for all things blog and education related.

Wikis 102
Scoff not--Wikipedia is a great place to start, especially because students are so familiar with it. A perfect correlative to this and a great source for discussing the trustworthiness of wikis is the NY Times article "Seeing Corporate Fingerprints in Wikipedia Edits." At lifehack, the post "Advice for Students: Use a Wiki for Better Note-taking" really helps to drive home the "relevance point" for students. Finally, and probably my favorite tool for educating people about what wikis are at all, is actually a visual technology:

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