Blogging is something that I have noticed has become a more popular educational tool. Even over the past four years since I came to Bucknell, more and more professors are opting to use blogging in the curriculum.  The first time I was required to blog was sophomore year.  To be frank; I couldn’t stand it.  I felt very uncomfortable having my writing posted online for my other classmates to read and critique. However; throughout the months I got used to it and while I was always slightly uneasy with the idea of my peers reading my blog posts, I appreciate being pushed out of my comfort zone.  Knowing that my writing wasn’t solely for the professor’s eyes made me change my writing style.  I learned that blogging required me to reach and please a wider audience and it pushed me to be more than a simple writer.  I grew up learning how to write papers for my teachers.  Blogging made me change my mind set, critique my writing, and become more confident.

While I don’t dislike blogging, I admit I am still not the biggest fan of it.  Up until Bucknell, I had never had blogging as part of the curriculum.  Therefore, blogging was foreign to me and put me at unease for awhile.  I have come to realize that the more I blog for my classes, the more I begin to enjoy it.  I think blogging has the ability to be a powerful tool to enhance student’s writing and education.  However, I believe that blogging has the ability to change someone from an individual standpoint.  Blogging has made me feel more confident in an academic setting and perhaps has made me change my mind set about social settings that are uncomfortable or foreign to me as well.

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9 responses »

  1. Kate says:

    Personally, I find blogging to be intimidating, but very beneficial. This is the first time in my academic career where I have had to “blog” on a weekly basis and comment on my peers’ work. Like Scout, I grew up writing for my teachers and Professors, but I am now being pushed to write for a much wider audience (which now seems to include people outside of our class). An unknown writer “liked” my last post, which seems to illustrate that anyone with a wordpress account can read our work. Having that thought in the back of my mind forces me to constantly “edit” my work.

    Elementary students in Quebec City, Canada are also starting to develop that same mindset. EDUCAUSE explains how 5th and 6th classrooms are incorporating blogging into their curriculum. Students find blogging to be positive because it allows them to “exchange [their] points of view with the rest of the world [and] not just people in their immediate environment” (Downes). They are already learning how to write for larger audiences, something that I am just starting to do now. I know that everyone will not like my opinions and my work will be criticized, but I know that blogging every week will help me become a much better writer.

  2. brookeparker16 says:

    Scout, I completely agree with you in regards to me view on blogging. I do believe that it can be a valuable asset to education, however, I am not “the biggest fan”. This reason may just be because all of the blogging I have had to do is forced (no offense Jordi). It would be interesting to see if blogging becomes more enjoyable for me when I do not see it as homework.

    • scoutberger says:

      I think you make a pretty valid point Brooke. The fact of the matter is, when you are blogging about something you personally feel passionate about, I believe that you will have better writing. Jordi has said that there is more to writing than editing and grammar. However, I think that when you are blogging for homework purposes you can’t help but write to appease someone else and feel like you are editing a paper for your teacher. I like that this week for our blogging homework we had options about what to write about. I felt more passionate blogging this time rather than last week when I was discussing Ray Kurzweil. I think the phenomenon of blogging has become so huge because people are given the option about what to blog about. This will ultimately excite people and encourage people to entertain and grab readers that have similar interests. I don’t mean to criticize blogging in an academic setting because I truly believe it has its benefits. However, I think that while we are still blogging for homework purposes and we are getting graded on our blogs we still are writing for a grade and I don’t believe that should be the purpose of blogging. Blogging has such potential but there are ultimately some downsides to it.

      • Kate says:

        Scout, you bring up a great point. It is much easier to blog when you are truly passionate about something. When I was studying abroad last semester, I created a blog and updated it on a weekly basis to keep my family and friends informed of my travels across Europe. I enjoyed writing on my blog because I was having the time of my life and I wanted to share my experience with everyone back home. Not only was it a great way to keep in touch with everyone, but it is now a personal diary that will help me remember all of the wonderful memories that happened during those 3.5 months. Essentially, the entry posts did not take very long to write.

        As everyone has already mentioned, blogging in an academic setting has many benefits. Not only does it create more in-depth discussions outside the classroom, but it also allows less vocal students to express their opinions. However, it’s more difficult for me to write a post or comment because I know that my work is being graded (I have already edited this comment several times). As the semester progresses, I am sure that feeling will subside and I will become more comfortable with the idea. As with everything else, it’s always just a matter of time.

  3. bmp007 says:

    That is a point I had yet to consider, the main purpose of blogging is to express your opinion and interests. I really do believe that I could grow to love blogging if it was with something that sparked my interest. For instance, although I am not an avid blogger, I love recipe blogging. This is not blogging for educational purposes but if blogging is cultivated in school it would open the doors to blogging for people true passions later on.

  4. hannahglos says:

    I understand how blogging makes some uncomfortable because their writing is out there for the world to see. I think that some feel intimidated by the idea of blogging because they don’t want their peers critiquing their writing and having to deal with the fear that their writing is not “strong” and they never mastered the technical aspects of writing. This is why I think blogging can be so beneficial because even as I was reading all of the posts for this week, I was just reading what they had to say without analyzing the author’s writing styles. Instead, I was reading over the entire entry and trying to find the main takeaways and ideas. I think this is a better option as opposed to looking at something and saying, “wow, the author phrased that sentence in a creative and grammatically correct way.” Blogging exposes you to your peers personal thoughts and ideas and gives you the option to reflect and critique them. Note how I said critique the authors THOUGHTS and IDEAS and not critique the STRUCTURE of the authors writing. I think in the long run, it is better to develop a sense of creative thought than develop the ability to write an award winning novel or paper.

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