E-Julie has left the building
So, this post is going to be a bit different to the rest, cos in this one you get to watch live as E-Julie disappears into the far horizon.
Is that the sound of screeching brakes of shock and horror?! Well...
The Language Legend started out as an experiment with a particular AS English Language class, to find out whether making material available in an online format would encourage wider reading and a more independent engagement with the subject. It kinda worked pretty well, so through an email discussion forum for teachers of this course, other students/teachers were invited to check it out. As time went by, all kinds of bloggers joined in the fun, and additional ideas about interactivity and the creation of online communities were explored.
It's been a cool project, and this weekend E-Julie's alter-ego is presenting the research findings, involving this and another blog project, at the annual conference of the National Association of Teachers of English. If E-Julie's far less brash, confident, articulate alter-ego doesn't first pass out on the floor in a pathetic display of hyperventilating nervousness, she will be exploring why the Language Legend has to die.
One of the problems with an educational blog is that for it to become widely used, it needs to speak with some kind of knowledge and authority on the subject, but in so doing it becomes less the kind of mutable, interactive space for the creation of shared and contested knowledge that grassroots blogs are, and more the kind of fixed world of teacher-centred incontestable knowledge that is at the hollow heart of much educational practice. In a bizarre twist, E-Julie has ended up recreating the world she sought to help her students tunnel out of.
So, while her serious and reclusive alter-ego continues to go to work everyday at the chalkface of education, E-Julie is taking a well-earned fictional Gap Year. No doubt she'll be back - she has that prodigal daughter kind of attitude - and who knows what adventures she will have in educational cyberspace in the future. But in the meantime, E-Julie has left the building.