Entries in "blog@Case"

October 20, 2006

Mena Trott evangelizes personal blogs

This is a quick, reflective post in the role of the web in general, and blogs in particular, in how adults learn, make and keep connections to friends and family, and get things done (both for heir hobbies and avocations and in their paid work).

Yesterday, I taught a MGMT 250 class session on the training design process. Twelve different student teams prepared and delivered 3-minute impromptu speeches on different training methods. The list of 12 different methods included: distance learning, learning portals, and at least one other method that involved the use of technology in some way. I was really struck by how differently this semester's group of 40 students respond to the different training options, in terms of their perceived advantages and disadvantages, than the group of students I taught back in 1998 or 1999 when I first came to Case Western Reserve.

I think I first started using blogs as one way of getting students to capture and share their reflections with me and with their classmates sometime around 2002 or 2003. Lots more students, this fall, have some previous experience with blogging. But there are still some who don't blog, and may not read any blogs on a regular basis. At the other end of the spectrum, there have been a few students in my class who were very internet-savvy in high school, learned to do web design for fun, and then converted their new skills into a way to make money. Things are clearly changing.

And yet, our local paper of record still seems to portray the dominant culture image of blogs -- they're just personal diaries on the web, they're not worth reading, they aren't going to change the entire media industry.... all while developing their own site for the newspaper, which now includes blogs by a few reporters.

I just came across Mena Trott's blog recently (click through to read more)

And will someone please post a comment on this entry, so I can be reassured that the Blog@Case spamfilter isn't overfunctioning again?

Continue reading "Mena Trott evangelizes personal blogs"

September 08, 2006

Another semester of students begin a blogging experiment

Yesterday, Jeremy Smith gave a fabulous presentation on blogging using the Blog@Case system to interested students in MGMT 250 and 251 this fall. He discussed why it is useful for professionals to maintain a blog, explaining the merits of controlling one's online brand. He also walked through how to start up a blog on the Blog@Case system, how to categorize or tag a blog entry, and how to manage comment spam. Many thanks to Jeremy for a well-organized, crisp, and informative presentation!

If any of my readers are interested in following the MGMT 250 students' blog entries, here's a link that will aggregate all entries that are tagged "MGMT250" (note the lack of space in that tag): topic=MGMT250

Here is the equivalent link for students in MGMT 251: topic=MGMT251. This fall, students in 251 will be starting topical blogs, in pairs or trios... the assignment has been modified slightly, so that there will be more than one student contributing on the same approved topic. I hope that the added number of entries on the same topic will help students find ways to draw traffic to their blogs. I will post later in the semester introducing the topic of each of those focused blogs, once they have an initial effort at relevant entries under their belts.

If you are curious about why I encourage my students to learn how to blog, you might be interested in reading this entry of mine from about one year ago.

July 28, 2006

online impression management

I attended a UCITE seminar yesterday given by Jeremy Smith and Heidi Cool. It included a brief overview of how to use websites and blogs to help raise your online professional profile. While the audience for the session was primarily faculty and administrators, I believe that much of the same ideas apply for management students.

Jeremy promises an audio file of the session soon, and I hope my students will listen to his pitch, which focuses on the importance of understanding and shaping the information that potential employers will find about you if they google you before inviting you in for a job interview. Many students do not understand that things they write on their social blogs or on facebook may be visible to employers and help shape others' impressions of them.

Heidi has also provided some useful tutorials on the Web Development blog, including this on how to learn HTML and this followup on how she completed her suggested homework assignment. Heidi has also made a number of other valuable contributions to the Web Development blog, so if you are thinking about developing your own website, be sure to poke around!

What do you think -- is it important for a prospective employee to have an online presence? Why or why not? Do you google prospective employees? When and why?

August 18, 2005

why I ask students to blog

Below is the beginning of the assignment instructions that I will distribute to the students in MGMT 250. If anyone has any comments or suggestions, I would welcome your thoughts!

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Here’s what Hillary Johnson said about blogging in Inc Magazine:

“Most people think of blogs as public diaries kept by the kinds of egotists who make loud, inappropriate political comments at family barbecues or hog the discussion at book clubs, or wannabe journalists who post inflammatory stories with no fact-checking. … For me, a woman who didn't graduate from Stanford and doesn't live in Silicon Valley, reading blogs by other entrepreneurs provides unexpected access to a virtual peer group.”

Students in MGMT 250 this fall will be offered the option of maintaining a blog and commenting on the blogs of other class participants. Any student who wishes to earn a B or an A for their final course grade will need to complete this assignment. There are three goals of this assignment:

° To encourage students to reflect on what they are learning and what they want to learn about the management of organizations and people
° To provide valuable practice in written communication and impression management
° To facilitate the development of connections among students and between students and course staff that will deepen the learning experience

Reflecting carefully on your own thinking is a very important skill to cultivate. Whether you are planning to enter management or any other professional field, your learning will not end on the day you graduate from college. You will need to engage in lifelong learning, which involves developing a sense of how to sort through different sources of information and distinguish between facts, well-reasoned judgments or conclusions, and poorly supported opinions. To encourage you to develop this skill in reflecting carefully on your own thinking, this course blogging assignment will challenge you to go beyond simply stating your opinion, or quoting a source that you respect and accepting its assertions at face value. In your course blog entries, we will challenge you to state not only what you believe about managing organizations and people, but also why you believe it. Developing your skill in articulating and advocating for your beliefs will help you become a more effective manager or professional.

February 26, 2005

decisions, decisions

I've decided to move the NEOBEAN site off the Blog@Case server because I like having the capability to give other people NEOBEAN accounts so they can maintain their own blogs at the site that Norm Roulet set up for me, even if they are not affiliated with Case. This summer, I will probably move all my teaching blogging over to this blog, but continue to maintain my livejournal for my thoughts on research and community engagement (or I may move those categories of blogging over to my main REALNEO blog).

Maintaining multiple blogs is a whole new world for me... it has been interesting to learn about and experiment with the benefits and drawbacks of the different platforms (Livejournal, Movable Type, and Drupal).