Monday, May 09, 2005


Portfolio Reflection - Oronid's Despair

Initially I was going to put up another piece to write a reflection on that, but after much deliberation I decided that this was the piece to reflect on.

Oronid's Despair started out as a point of view study to further enhance my knowledge of writing and the way things should fit together when making a cohesive story. After writing a decent amount I realized that my characters were not characters in the story but merely there to keep the story flowing. These characters were all what was said, these characters were skin deep, had no psychological depth. Oronid's Despair then delved further into my characters personalities and spawned several other projects.

Aeryaen : Character Study 001 became a part of Oronid's Despair much further down the line, as well as about 40 other pieces dedicated to my study on that one character. Oronid's Despair itself is much more extensive than what is seen here, and it has really helped myself develop as a writer and as a storyline creator. Essentially, this development with my around 80 seperate files, scribblings in my notebook and all the ideas in my head has really helped me develop a cognative storyline. I will definitely post more of this as time progresses, especially since I havearound 45% of what all I want to do with this story.


Grade "A" Blogging

Blogging is difficult to accurately grade or accurately 'categorize' for grading itself. I think that the Blogs should not be graded on frequency of posts, not on the subject matter of posts, but what lies within the posts. Essentially, the important thing to remember about Blogging is that it is a skill, much like reading, writing, and other arithmetic. I've seen on several rubrics: "Does the student demonstrate an active, working knowledge of the skill at hand," and I think that very much applies here.

Students as a whole do not work on the same boundaries as their peers, they work in different ways and grading something as abstractually complex like Blogging on a rigid scale would defeat the purpose of this technology. Say you have a student who uses his Blog as an open forum for book-talks or an open-debate page to discuss what's going on in a specific class; but on the flip-side you have a student who uses the blogging system as a way to put his work out there, or research other topics without really asking for help. Now, if you set the rubric to say that you have to do a specific thing, one of these students is wrong, but both are correctly utilizing this technology.

I would like to put forth the idea that blogging should be based on a student by student draft, this is rather hard to do for large-scale communities, but at the same time for what we are doing in our experimental blogging class it is the perfect way to address the grading issue. Students, at the beginning of the class should explain what they want to accomplish with their blog as a final goal or as a 'major' goal. The occasional assignment/prompt from the teacher is fine to keep people on track and to make sure they have an accurate depction of what they are meant to do. If a student then does not do what attempted to set out for the class goals, then s/he will not receive an A, the grade would then fall into the hands of the teacher based on the other work this student has submitted. I feel this is the most fair way to grade without degrading the usefulness and limiting our abilities as a community to blog.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Portfolio Piece Two

Aeryaen : Character Study 001, a continuation of Aeryaen (main character of Oronid's Despair) that introduces an adversary to Aeryaen, Naritus.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Portfolio Piece One

Oronid's Despair. Simply put, this is for the class assignment which was to submit a portfolio-worthy assignment. I wrote this piece as a personal exploration for point of view, however, I never fully developed the initial idea for the assignment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Idealistic Thought

I sat down at my computer this evening, and the first thing I thought of was an issue I failed to mention during class. Bud had mentioned earlier that a group of fifth graders are partaking in a similar crash-course blogging experiment, and after reading up on it a bit more, I began to wonder... When would this technology be introduced to us as students? Anne Davis stated that:

"We're going to talk about all this and work on our new weblogs. Can't wait! We may try to "tweak" Mr. Richardson's writing a bit and have a model for elementary kids!"

I was instantly curious just to know when this technology would be feasible for a child to understand. Blogging has been defined as many as a 'skill' that needs refining and in some cases will need to be taught, and if this is the case, could this potentially become part of the everyday curriculum such as English or Math? Would this be an elective course like Music or P.E.? I may be misunderestimating the younger generations, but I do feel that weblogging would not be properly utilized until they have matured more. Additionally, even if it was properly described and explained, would a student at the age of ten or eleven be able to grasp the concept of how powerful 'blogging' is? I'm just throwing out ideas here, I want to know what others think.

If this tool is introduced early enough perhaps it could change the way High School and higher education is dealt with, but on the other hand, if it is introduced too early or too late the potential benefits may not be seen and this could become just as mundane as writing 20 minutes on a prompt with no basis in reality.


Posting Versus Blogging

Yesterday, our teacher for this experimental blog class gave us several links to people also interested in the potential uses for 'blogging' in schools. After scouring the internet through leads from various sites, the biggest being Will R.'s blog. Will expressed dismay with the idea of 'blogging' being misconstrued with merely more online journaling. Through his leads I came to the conclusion that many people are misusing 'blogs'. Looking back, I have misused blogs, such as a personal one at Xanga, where I'm simply 'journaling'. I'm part of the problem, essentially, but I am willing to make the stride to blog properly.

There's a potentiality of disaster with the blogging system that needs to be addressed. Elle brought up a very crucial point: "You know, I'm really curious about something. I was wondering what would happen beyond my school". She does state the situation in our school, in which we all abide by our basic rules, the biggest one being respect. We are all respectful of our peers opinions, the foundation of the school is built on this. At a larger school, however, these blogs could be grievously misused by people who are unable to tactfully deal with this new technology on a mature level. A big issue I think that most of the people making these decisions about weblogs is that they view journals. There are students out there who are capable of developing the blogging 'skill', whereas some do not realize the difference between journaling and blogging.

Journaling is ranting, or 'diary-keeping'. The technophiles who spend time posting on Xanga, LiveJournal, and the sort do not show what students are capable of. These people that 'journal' on a blog could just as easily write this down but they feel the need to receive input... Why? Generally this is a call of desperation or they just want some attention. Again, and I repeat, this is not blogging, nor is it what our experimental class is trying to conduct.

Blogging is the definitive source for information transfer. Imagine an entire months research for a midterm paper all at the click of a button. Blogging could revolutionize the way papers' are written. Will R. said:

But I've never in my life written the way I write in this Weblog. And frankly, I don't know that I've learned as much from any other type of activity as I have from this type.

I think that right there provides an ideal reiteration of exactly what we are trying to accomplish as a class. We want to revolutionize the way we view the internet's resources, and more specifically, the way we communicate ideas through our close community, and potentially the entire country... Maybe the world.

Friday, April 08, 2005


As this is an experimental blogging class, our teacher felt it necessary to develop some questions for us to delegate upon. Here are the questions and my respective answers:

1. Why do you use blogs? What do you currently use blogs for outside of school (If you do)?
I use blogs outside of school to recap the days events, or to just talk about something that is on my mind. I used to do this in a journal, but after finding out that I have quite a few interesting ideas on things I decided to put this into a more public forum and see what other people had to say about my ramblings.

2. What are some reasons why you think blogs might be useful at our school?
I believe that Blogging could be useful at our school in that it could give teachers and students alike a look into someone else's eyes, just to see how they think about things. Seperation from a personal and professional blog would be obvious, but it would be a great way to communicate ideas for a given subject, class, or project. There are a lot of potential uses for blogs, but I feel that the biggest would be the exchange of ideas and information.

3. What are some potential problems that you see with blogging at school?
A big issue that could arise from 'blogging' is safety if too much information is given out, and the propriety of a school that hosts that blog. If something happened on a blog, per se, that did not bode well with a certain individual, or group of individuals, the school's and person's reputation could be at risk. With that being said, certain obligatory rules would have to be put into place as to protect the reputation of the aforementioned parties.

4. Should student blogs be made public for the world to see, or just our school community?
I think that on some level this needs to be both. For instance, if a student writes a ground-breakiing report on psychoanalysis then that should be public, but if it's just a few kids and a teacher trying to communicate about a simple homework assignment, I feel that it would be otherwise unnecessary to let the public see that. I would think of my professional 'blog' as a portfolio of sorts for the public, where I want to shine.

Thursday, March 31, 2005


I just spent the past 30 minutes experimenting with the blog layout, colours, feel and other templates, and came to the conclusion that I will be creating my own layout as the template system on this website is rather uneffective. All to be saqid now.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Hello and welcome to this experimental weblog for an experimental class. Additional information will be posted throughout the duration of the class.