Saturday, September 6, 2014

Back to the Blog

As I begin teaching another section of ENGL 235 Writing for Non Print Media I reflect on the digital tools I use, one of which is blogs.  I tend to provide my students with the link to my blog so that they can see an example, but what does it say to them when I haven’t posted in almost a year?  Does it say that blogs are not as valuable as the research suggest?  Or that blogs are passé? That I am lazy?  Well, I don’t think the last of these. After all, I now have an “educational facebook” account as well as an “educationaltwitter” account.  I tend to keep up on literature, trends, tools, etc.  In fact, I revised much of the aforementioned course after attending the awesome SummerInstitute in Digital Literacy at the University of Rhode Island in Providence.  (more about that in a future post.)  The question I ask myself as I teach is “Am I providing a bad example by not blogging?”  

I try to model activities for my students.  In all of my classes, students produce multimodal assignments.  You all know by now that I value writing, of course, but because there are a variety of ways to learn, and because the opportunity to express oneself through multiple modes increases comprehension, I have to continue to lead by example.  I have also recently published a chapter in Teaching Literacy in the Digital Age and I included a link to my blog in hopes that it would inspire me to blog much, much more often.

 I still find blogs valuable.  First, they are thematic.  My blog, for instance is for educators, specifically those looking to use multimodal and digital tools.  Secondly, blogs are reflective.  As someone who spends most of his time writing academic articles and tools for teaching, it is nice to just be a bit more creative and just think about what I have learned, taught, or done.  Not to say that my other work isn’t creative, but with blogging, I can choose the topic. I can choose what links I want to incorporate, if any, and I can decide when to post.  That is one of the beauties of blogs…choice.   And like I said before…reflection.  As I’m writing this I’m starting to think back to some of the cool digital tools I have learned about these past few months.  Lastly, the connectivity of blogs appeals to me.  Facebooking is nice, but I don’t know how active my facebook account is, because while it’s educational, I still find it primarily social.  My friends aren’t flocking to it to learn.  At least I don’t think that’s the case.  My twitter is cool, because I can network briefly and get so much information from others quickly.  But the blog, I think is a great way to both keep in touch, and to learn. 
But what do you, the reader, think about blogging?  I know that many of my followers are current or former students who are/were required to blog.  But, I have heard from several of my former students that they plan to keep blogs to reflect on their careers, which I think is wonderful!  I still find blogs relevant, and think they are a wonderful way to learn from one another, and yes, a way to keep in touch. 

So as I start another semester, and as I introduce my students to the wonderful world of blogging, I just want to say that I am ready to blog again, and that I look forward to sharing a lot of information with you.  I also look forward to what you have to say whether I follow you, you follow me, or we follow each other.

I shared a few links above, but I definitely plan to share more in these future postings.  I hope you enjoy or continue to enjoy Oldakowski’s Educational Stuff!