Comment on A more skeptical look at academic blogging by Ben Augustine

I have no idea. I’m new to the pedagogy literature, but what I’ve seen so far makes me cautiously optimistic that switching from lectures to more problem-solving approaches can improve learning *in at least some cases*. There are situations where it probably is not a good idea. I also wonder to what extent the literature is subject to the file drawer effect by pro-change researchers and just a lack of studies from researchers who favor the status quo.

Comment on A more skeptical look at academic blogging by Ben Augustine

I’m sure the team approach would reduce the amount of work for each individual while keeping readers interested with frequent posts. Dynamic Ecology is the closest Ecology has to a superstar blog. There are a handful of others with moderate traffic and not much else. Blogging hasn’t really caught on in Ecology as much as it has in say, Economics, and some of the early blogs are dead.

Regarding the department-wide blog, my lab has an arrangement like this for twitter. We each have to man the lab twitter account for a couple weeks per semester. I did a good job the first week, but hardly posted anything the second. I ran out of material!

Comment on Who do blogs connect? by carriekilleen

I would also argue that any type (and different types) of writing practice are good for students. For example, low-stakes “free-writing” in a personal journal that no one ever sees, that may not even be in complete sentences, is helpful for students when they are trying to just get some ideas out. Blogging or the old-school version of writing and trading papers in class in a sort of peer-review process is another important form of writing, involving complete sentences, coherent thoughts, and easy-going feedback. More formal compositions that demand appropriate grammar, sentence structure, and organization of the central argument are also essential to practice. Which of these is more important? Or better? Hard to say, they all have their benefits. But writing can improve in many ways, such as by scribbling on the back of a napkin at a restaurant, jotting down notes in a notebook while sitting in a tree, or by typing on a computer.