A Blog, a Wiki, and A Rose

I teach English 101. In the class, students learn to write a literary analysis essay, synthesizing data from several resources. Students frequently have difficulty comprehending the iconic American short story, “A Rose for Emily” written by William Faulkner. Before writing, much class discussion is devoted to the story’s plot, setting, and other literary elements. While I have some tools to aid their comprehension, this assignment for me as a student helped me find a few more tools to help my students.

The first is a blog: http://en.wordpress.com/tag/a-rose-for-emily/. It is a blog because the information is unchangeable except by the owner. However, while Michael Dubon is the name most prominent, it appears that this might be a class project.  This blog is dedicated to William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”. DuBon has an audio entry and reads the short story. Other entries include reviews and comments referencing “A Rose for Emily”. If the site had a different name, I might call it, “All things Miss Emily”, which I foresee as a possible collaborative activity for an online class. I think my students would benefit from hearing the story read aloud. While not an overly dramatic rendition, it’s reflective of the Southern setting which might give student’s a different perspective in comprehension. Further, the other entries on the site might be useful to cite in their own analysis of “A Rose for Emily”.

The next site is a wiki: http://aroseforemily.wikispot.org/. It is a wiki because site visitors are able to edit the information on the site. However, only those with membership to this wiki are able to modify the content. A page at the site provides a history of edits. In addition to information about “A Rose for Emily”, by clicking on wikiproject, the site visitor will find useful information about wikis. It would be a literary connection to any online class that discusses wikis; however, I would use this as a resource for student reinforcement after a class discussion. For an online class, I could use it as a springboard for my own class wiki to have students review the site and analyze the site. I would use the wiki analysis as a springboard to introducing the literary analysis format of writing.

Wikis and blogs offer two new tools to teaching. In addition to utilizing what’s already out there, class wikis and blogs offer collaborative uses to implement today’s technology.

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