Consider this one fascinating trend among teenagers: They're spending less time watching professional sports and more time simulating those sports on Xbox or PlayStation. Now, which activity challenges the mind more — sitting around rooting for the Packers, or managing an entire football franchise through a season of "Madden 2005": calling plays, setting lineups, trading players and negotiating contracts? Which challenges the mind more — zoning out to the lives of fictional characters on a televised soap opera, or actively managing the lives of dozens of virtual characters in a game such as "The Sims"?
I kept thinking about my encounter with social cliques and blogs at the very beginning of my blogging experiment.
Does this mean that my experiment failed? No. In fact, I am thrilled with the blogging community that emerged in my classroom. One of the reasons why I think it has been so successful has to do with the approach that I chose that very night when I realized that my students were not giving all their classmates a chance and that most of them flocked to their friends blogs. I decided on the only solution that seemed reasonable at the time: I decided not to do anything at all.