As the tools necessary for creating blogs and other forms of micro-publishing (podcasts, videocasts, microblogs) have become more readily available,many academics have been quick to embrace these new forms of communication. However, academics blog for many different reasons, such as disseminating scholarship, demystifying the inner workings of the academy, or promoting themselves in an uncertain job market. Many academics are employing blogging in the classroom, assigning podcasts as required reading, creating collaborative class blogs, and experimenting with Twitter to develop classroom community. In this forum we will be discussing the theory and practice of academic blogging. The academy has not yet settled on the role that digital scholarship will take in relation to more traditional forms of scholarship, and for this reason scholars are still struggling with questions about the role that bloggers play in spreading disciplinary knowledge, and how this kind of activity should be measured. Likewise, the pedagogical value of blogging, let alone "best practices" guidelines for incorporating blogging into the classroom, are still somewhat up in the air. In an effort to explore how blogging and academia interact, we will be live-blogging and twittering on www.hastac.org from two HASTAC events over the course of this forum: the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Competition Showcase (Apr. 16?17 in Chicago) and the HASTAC III conference (Apr. 19?21 at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). For those of you who can't attend these events, we invite you to follow along on HASTAC and to join us as we discuss:
- How are blogs being used in academic circles?
- Do blogs help spread information or create bubbles and isolation of highly specialized academics?
- Should blogs be counted for tenure applications? Should blog posts count as publications?
- How can blogging enhance student learning? What successful ways have you seen blogging incorporated into pedagogy, and what can we learn from less successful attempts?
- How does live blogging impact the experience of academic conferences or other such large, collective events?
John Jones is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin where he studies rhetoric and technology. Currently he is an Assistant Director of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing's Computer Writing and Research Lab. Ramsey Tesdell graduated from the University of Washington after writing his thesis, entitled "An Ecology of New Media in Jordan," through which he explored how various new media technologies are being utilized for collective actions. He now lives in Amman, Jordan and writes for 7iber.com.