What exactly is a blog? This a question I keep on asking myself as I try to get back on track with blogging. Doesn't that just seem backward? How can I blog when I don't know what a blog is? Well, I guess in reality, many people do things that they don't know what to do. Last year, the Atlantic wrote a great piece about what Blogging has become and reading that really made me think about the evolution of information writing on the web. A lot of it goes back to this one source of Blogs called Medium which is the company that created Blogger and then Twitter. They are on the forefront of trends of internet information. Think back to when the internet began and there were online encyclopedias. They were just like print encyclopedias that went out of date just like, well, print encyclopedias. You had to update them every year. Now, when there is a new scientific discovery, (BAM!) you know about it right away. On April 15, 2013, during the Boston marathon, when two bombs went off near the finish line, the first "news source" to find out about it was.......twitter!! 8 million relevant tweets went off related to the bombing! Granted only approximately 20 percent were accurate but who said all of the reported news was always accurate?
And that paragraph was written 2 months ago. This is the perfect example of how the life of an educator can get in the way of the creative process! Well at least outside of the classroom....
In these past few months I assigned research papers in my classes. I cannot even count the amount of times that I have had students try to pass off blog posts as references in their research papers. Try to explain to students (or even their parents) that they cannot use a blog post as a reference in their research paper and you are met with a blank stare because they seriously don't know the difference! How many times have you gone on to social media when people have passed off a blog post as a scientific fact or reference? It is the same thing as passing off an editorial or opinion piece as factual news piece. How do we explain the difference to our students? How do we explain the difference to the general public? This has become another challenge of being a teacher.
However, I do believe that blogging is still important. Getting those thoughts out there and sharing/ collaborating is what is important. Blogging has evolved since the 1990s to where it is now what we just need to do is educate our students so that as they become adults, they can tell the difference between opinion and fact; between a blog and a reference.