Monday, November 14, 2005

SBL Blogging and Phil Harland

The forthcoming SBL CARG session on biblioblogging generated several recent posts from me and from others (See SBL Carg Biblioblog Session, Resources for SBL CARG biblioblog session and SBL CARG Biblioblog Session: Relevant Posts) and I've just spotted an extra resource that is relevant to the discussion that I would have mentioned before. It focuses on Phil Harland's excellent Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean Blog:

Academics take up blogging
Online diaries give professors a new audience
By James Allison, Editor, News@Concordia.ca:
. . . . Harland said adapting his writing for the blog has been a balancing act between maintaining a serious tone and providing light reading for a non-academic audience. However, it has proven beneficial in helping him to develop ideas and express them succinctly.

“When you’re reading a book and come up with idea, you don’t always take the time to jot it down,” he said. “The blog is useful for grabbing those ideas and developing them further.” . . . .
One of the remarks here is particularly relevant to one of the topics of our discussion:
This semester, students in Harland’s courses will also be given the opportunity to take part in this distributed conversation. He will post entries on his blog that deal with issues raised in class and encourage students to continue the discussion online . . . .

. . . . Allowing the public to observe and participate in classroom-related discussions in the context of a blog is an innovative way of enriching the educational experience.
And I would add that the great thing about the blog-as-classroom experiment is that we all get educated. I have personally found the recent entries on Religions of the Ancient Mediterraneans Blog on the Apocryphal NT very interesting and informative.

In related news, I noticed in a CARG email from Kirk Lowery that "The Blogging session received special highlighting by SBL; see p. 12 in the Program Book." I don't have a Program Book yet -- I guess it must have got lost somewhere between the US and the UK and back -- but it's good to hear that this session has been specially flagged.

1 comment:

Phil Harland said...

Glad you find the posts interesting. As to the "experiment", so far the commenting interaction works very well with the graduate students (in connection with the Apocrypha course) but not as well with the undergrads (who do read the posts on medieval and early modern Christianity but almost never comment themselves). Since the grad students do a thorough job of reading and preparing, they always seem to have something to say on my entries. I'm going to see what other technique I can use to get undergrads interacting on the blog next term (when I have no grad class but only undergrads). I wonder what Jim Davila's experience was when he did the Qumran course blog, though I don't remember if he had comments on that one. Phil H.