Blog on Blogs: Help me understand!

Soooo this is not my first time blogging for a class and I honestly haven’t had great experiences with it in the past.  I don’t mind blogging for other things like my research, or topics I find interesting.  I’ve done this several times with the Virginia Tech Sustainable Nanotechnology blog.  But there’s a big difference between an organic, well thought out, blog about something I’m passionate about, and being forced to write about a certain topic by a strict deadline for a class.

The audiences are also much different between a blog I post for class, and one I post independently or research related.  Someone reading my post on microbes in the environment probably has some baseline interest in that topic, however that isn’t necessarily the case for blogging for a class.  Whenever I blog for a class (especially when comments are mandatory) I always feel like everyone is just skimming quickly and trying to move on to complete the assignment, and the only people I’m going to reach are my classmates who think the title is interesting enough to merit a comment.

For the record, I understand that blogs are important and great, especially in a world where we are trying to get our message out about how cool and important our research is.  As emphasized by the readings for this week, blogging gives a voice to those who might not have a platform for their talent, and this is a great thing.  However the thought that blogging is going to radically change how we teach.. I just don’t believe.  I don’t think there is a difference between blogging and any other writing assignment, and the forced comment approach is no different than any other message board and in my opinion is less productive than a class room discussion that could accomplish the same thing in a more personal way.

I am ready and willing to be talked away from my blogging opinion above and I hope that someone in this class can change my mind forever about blogging for classes.  Then maybe I’ll be like Barney Stinson.. and my blog will be a lot better.

Category(s): GEDI

4 Responses to Blog on Blogs: Help me understand!

  1. Hey!

    (insert generic comment here about the blog post)

    I understand the frustration that can be found in mandatory blogs and comments, but try to be positive about it. Is there a way to inject your research and that which you find interesting into these posts for contemporary pedagogy?

    As in graduate work, is there a main topic or idea or thesis you could follow for the semester to place limits or assist you in responding to topics? I have found with limits come creativity.

    Like in this week’s video with Seth, my cat has already endorsed blogging. My mother is on the fence about it.


  2. I mentioned similar feelings in my blog for this week. Blogging so far has been frustrating and I haven’t seen a lot of benefit from it, but I hope that experience can be improved upon with this class. The one thing I do think I have definitely benefited from in course blogs is that I had the opportunity to find my voice a little bit and figure out what works and what doesn’t work before writing non-class-related blogs about my research. Having the safety net of writing in a relatively safe environment about class-related topics has been a good way to get started with blogging.

  3. I am 80% on board with what you mention in your blog. I see no difference from the blog, to having to write a page about a topic and then randomly sharing it in the classroom to get your peers comments. But, I have changed my mindset from that with this assignment. In my perspective, the mandatory comments create another interaction between the students outside the classroom to discuss and ferment their ideas.

  4. First of all, I really enjoyed this other post you wrote: And if your thoughts weren’t accessible on a blog I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn something from you or let you know about it. Looking at this post, it seems like there is quite a bit about blogging that you do find useful, and I hope what works for you in other contexts might work in this one as well. Blogging for GEDI is required, but not “assigned,” which leaves you a lot of freedom to write about something that interests you. In this case, we will be exploring various pedagogical strategies, environments, and approaches over the term. I don’t want to prescribe how you write about that work, but rather encourage you to do so in a way that helps the development of your teaching praxis. It sounds like blogging has already amplified your voice as a researcher, and I think it might do the same for your teaching. In any case, your blog is already MUCH better than Barney Stinson’s (because more people have read it!).

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