I can’t believe I’ve finally arrived at my final blog post. I admit I hadn’t had any experience with blogging – I’d read a few maybe, and heard that they could be used in the classroom etc., but I’d never really tried it out. I was hesitant to fully join the digital age for fear that my students could too easily track me down. I finally just relented and joined facebook (and am consequently obsessed) once I learned there was a way to keep privacy safeguards in check. Privacy is certainly one of the issues to be considered when blogging, both for personal use and certainly in the classroom – protective measures need to be considered. I actually have a meeting set up for next week with a librarian in my district to teach me how to set up a classroom blog for each of my classes. I may not have time to work it in this year, but I certainly will next year – I’m looking forward to the challenge.
When I originally began this blog, I basically used it as a recording space for my notes on the readings for the course. I wrote my blog postings as a I read each piece, using the blog essentially as a dialogue with myself – thoughts, comments, questions on each reading. I didn’t even really consider my audience (sorry!) until I started receiving comments from outside readers. Though I do think privacy is often a concern, I wasn’t too worried about people (including students) reading my blog about the composing process. Though I figured it very unlikely that I would gather much of a following, I don’t have any qualms about sharing the thoughts with anyone interested in reading them.
As class progressed, the assignment morphed from just starting a blog to maintaining an interactive space – not just discussing each reading but adding photos, video – adding some “life” to our blogs. I did attempt this, but I struggled almost immediately with voice. I changed up what I was writing, posted a different sort of discussion, but I was uncomfortable with this. I had already created a persona, a voice, with this blog, and changing that felt very false. So I did continue to add video clips etc., but I needed to remain true to the voice I began with. In compromise, I did start two other blogs – one for just random thoughts on life (http://ablogofbinaries.blogspot.com/) and another to focus on my interest in Young Adult Literature (http://teachyalit.blogspot.com/). While I think I might let the first blog lapse, I really enjoy the YA Lit blog and have developed some “relationships” with other YA Lit bloggers. I’ve already used it to gain information and tips for selecting titles for school and to elicit feedback on titles.
So, I’ll admit it – I’m a blogger. I blog. I read other blogs. It’s interesting and has turned out to be a more fulfilling experience than I had originally imagined. I think I may continue the trend as I begin my doctoral studies. It seems as though using a blog to work through ideas I’m tackling in my coursework in a somewhat public forum – maybe to receive comments from others, maybe not – but either way keeping a dialogue with myself will be a useful and hopefully productive tool.