Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blogging as a Medium

Greetings fellow bloggers!

Though we often talk about using our blogs as a tool, another way we could describe blogs is as a "medium." According to Merriam-Webster Online, a medium can be defined in the following ways: a publication or broadcast that carries advertising; a mode of artistic expression or communication; something (as a magnetic disk) on which information may be stored.

Mediums have changed and grown over time. Telegrams offered a medium for messages and lead the way to telephones allowing communication in real time. Then there was radio, which carried voices over great distances and to great numbers of people. Television followed shortly adding visuals to the audio. Not too long ago we added the internet as a medium which brought information in both visual and auditory formats to a greater depth and breadth than anything before it.

Most of the modern mediums have fallen short in one aspect; they are one-way methods of communication. Blogs are the answer to that lack. In blogs we can not only produce a "broadcast" to advertise ourselves, we can also connect to other blogs and their authors. With all of the different arrangements and images we can use it gives even the least visually talented of us a means of artistic expression. Even the information we value above all else can be forever stored in a location untouched by time or the elements. And best of all, the world can talk back to us. People in countries far away can pat us on the back, offer differing viewpoints, thank us for our insight, and offer more of their own.

I am usually not this long winded but that is another beauty of the blog, limitless digital storage. What moved me to write this post was a couple of our bloggers' recent blogs. Vicky posted a blog that not only shared a bit of insight, it also linked to several sites designed to show students more about themselves. When I first read her posting, my first thought was how fully she was using this medium. She was using this to not just give an assignment but to offer insight from other sources to her students. The other blogger was Jim who posted two blogs that not only showed off the skills of his students and their work but also himself and his kids. In that way, he also showed us the full depth this medium allows. Now, we can all see him as a teacher, father, learner, and inspiration.

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