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Innovation

Should we be teaching people how to blog?

I'd like to believe that I pretty well mastered the five-paragraph essay in the 7th grade. A couple years of journalism took care of that style of writing (or at least well enough for me to write a story for our school newspaper that didn't necessarily contain five five-sentence paragraphs).
Written by Christopher Dawson, Contributor on

I'd like to believe that I pretty well mastered the five-paragraph essay in the 7th grade. A couple years of journalism took care of that style of writing (or at least well enough for me to write a story for our school newspaper that didn't necessarily contain five five-sentence paragraphs). However, mainstream media are evolving quickly. Intrepid reporters are quickly being replaced by bloggers with laptops and Blackberries, while major media outlets like CNN and Fox News use bloggers to go where their TV cameras can't.

In fact, it seems that everyone has a blog these days, even teachers from the middle-of-nowhere Massachusetts. The beauty (and curse) of blogging is that we, as bloggers, can inject our opinions, thoughts, and feelings into reported stories; they tend to be conversational in nature and, in fact, are as big a departure stylistically from journalism as journalism was from the five-paragraph essay. So if blogging continues to overtake traditional media, shouldn't we not only be teaching students how to write to this format, as well as decipher the real reporting from the soapboxing?

I introduce blogging in my web design classes, but I'm not an English teacher. What I'd like to know is, does your school teach blogging? Is it a class in and of itself, part of a journalism class, or just a way to get kids writing in an English class? I know I had to keep journal entries for many of my high school English classes...what better way to keep a journal in 2007 than via a blog that other students can share? Talk back below and take the following poll to let us know how you handle new media in your school.

[poll id=10]

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