|BLOGGING FOR A WORLD AUDIENCE 2012. Introducing you to the Fall 2 Session of "Blogging for a World Audience," brought to you by Hallelujah Truth, aka Instructor Ruth Schowalter at the Georgia Tech Language Institute, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Notice that I insist on low technology writing for getting "first thoughts" down. In my class, we call this free-writing exercise BLOGSTORMING.|
Hallelujah for the opportunity to teach BLOGGING in an international classroom to students studying English as a Second Language! Hallelujah that these students are outrageously exceptional in every way! They are bright, diligent, and earnest in their search to find ways to enhance their young busy academic lives with MEANING! What a fantastic combination of qualities for me, their instructor!
One component of the course is BLOGSTORMING. This BLOGSTORMING is the practice of timed free writing on a teacher assigned topic. Students are coached to write continuously without stopping, without crossing out mistakes, and without going back to read. During this timed writing, they are not allowed to edit. Instead they are challenged to follow the ideas that excite and wake them up and to lose control. Organization is abandoned. Judgement is suspended. In the Natalie Goldberg approach of Writing Down the Bones, I repeat to them: NOT GOOD. NOT BAD. JUST IS.
As you can see in the photo above, each student has an old fashioned composition book in which they cultivate the ideas by writing them down by hand. I did my best to ignore the computers for the first six or seven days of class. I wanted their BLOGS to originate from their "first thoughts," of who they are and what is important to them. In order to develop theme-based BLOGS, I had them BLOGSTORM on topics such as their names, their interests, what they might be if they were a color, texture, a scent, or animal.
They BLOGSTORMED about their mission in life and what their manifesto might be! I will use the words from a song written by an Australian activitist, Kev Carmody--"From small things, large things grow!" Listen to his song below. I find his lyrics inspirational. I really believe that BIG BLOGS can result from handwriting in composition books (BLOGSTORMING)! I hope my students will believe that too! Tell me dear PILGRIMS what you think of this song! Does it inspire you?