Thursday, August 17, 2006

I just viewed on CNN.com a video story about how Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has launched an Internet blog. It's pretty interesting to think that such a high ranking leader (or his employees) would start a blog and poll readers on whether the United States' or Britain's interaction in the Middle East are instigating World War III. Interestingly, the story reports that the poll was split nearly 50/50.

So what does this mean? Well, my initial thoughts were that this is an important selling point for blogging in education. Political candidates, their supporters and detractors, have been blogging for a number of years now. Yes, years. In social studies classes we teach students to read the newspaper and major periodicals to stay up with current events. Quite frankly this is too slow. By the time I get my newspaper or pick up the "latest" Time magazine the story has already been reported a hundred times over. [Note: I must mention that I think I am alergic to the paper, the ink makes me sneeze.] This is where blogs and places like Wikipedia.org come in. I read my Bloglines daily and find that, for the most part, I am current with what is happening in the world. [Note: To date I have not sneezed at any blogs, though, I may have scoffed at a few.] Newspaper articles seem to only skim the surface of some news storys, not to mention the nightly TV news programs I grew up on.

So here is a typical scenario I practice... Read a blog post on the Iranian President and then head over to his Wikipedia article for some more information. Noting the warning that the "neutrality of the article is under dispute", I perform a Google search for more information about the Iranian leader's blog.

Question: Are you embracing these technology tools or merely blocking them in hopes that they will go away like a passing fad?

Disclaimer: I am not supporting the Iranian leader, but merely trying to make a point about how blogs are being used to reach out to the younger generations.

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