The lives of graduate students and faculty members are endlessly busy and blogging often seems like just one more burden in our busy days or feels too frivolous to justify doing when there are papers to grades and articles to research. But by approaching the practice with an eye to ancient pedagogical aims we can make blogging both enjoyable and productive.
Blogging as a personal journaling practice has a place, but it misses out on the most scholarly beneficial aspects of the online genre including membership in specific discourse communities, dialogic exchanges, and writing to learn. Aristotle and his contemporaries might be thrown a bit by the glowing screens and tapping keyboards of our era, but I believe they would easily recognize the kinds of knowledge building practices possible on blogs. When blogging is focused and purposeful it can be as powerful a rhetorical tool as any graduate student might hope to discover.
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