Blogging for Knowledge

October 13, 2009

Well I’ve spent the last week putting off writing this post, not because that is the normal way I do things (I’m one of those hyper-organized sorts who tends to spend her Halloween evening wrapping Christmas presents) but because I’ve been sick and to use the new terminology I’ve learned in class, my personal life “back channel” has been just… overwhelming…  is the only word that comes close to describing the personal levels of stress I’ve been experiencing lately. Not that these personal issues should get in the way of my learning and doing the things I know I need to be doing here, but I’m human and they have, for this week at least. I probably would have felt better had I just written my blog post right after our class last Tuesday and I think this will be the practice I will adopt from now on because I just can’t take the guilt of knowing I should be doing something but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Sigh. I’m living and learning how to learn, even at this stage of my life, I guess!

Anyway, to get back onto the topic this blog is supposed to be about, Sue Water’s presentation last week on educational blogging was exactly the sort of presentation I enjoy, very practical and very hands-on. I went to Sue Water’s blog and read what her readers have to say and I’ve read all of my classmates’ blog posts and reflections about the presentation and found my head nodding along in many instances. I don’t think I have any “new” questions to ask about blogging, to be honest… I’m pretty sure my fellow learners have covered the major bases for me. But, these are the Top 3 Blogging Questions in my mind and I apologize for any repetition there may be here as compared to anyone else’s posts they have already published on the subject:

1. Inspiration for blogging: Right now, in this class, we are being guided as to the sorts of blog posts we should be thinking/writing about and given that this is a for-credit course for me, that is just fine. I don’t mind the guidance in the slightest, particularly as I’m new to blogging and I’m still not 100% certain what I am doing the majority of the time. My question has more to do with what I should use as inspiration for blog posts after this class is over? Are there things I shouldn’t blog about?

2. Pacing for Blogging: How often should I be posting in a blog? Again, for the purposes of this class, at least one blog post per week is expected and that is no problem (most weeks 😀 ) for me, but is there a standard people tend to do or is posting  based more on one’s gut and when “inspiration” strikes?

3. Privacy Issues: How concerned do I need to be about my personal privacy? I tend to be a very open person, yet prudent. I don’t and won’t post anything on here that cannot be read by my daughters, or my boss, or give out personal information (other than what is on my first blog post) for example. As far as using blogs with my students, which I fully intend to begin using them right away; blogging will be conducted in a closed environment, at least to begin with, so privacy issues aren’t as prevalent in that sort of system as one that is open to readers from around the globe.

I suppose the answers to most of the questions I have posed would depend on the purposes I have envisioned for my blog. Once this class has concluded, I would like to keep this blog more professional in some respects, yet I’d still like to use it as a way to communicate what is happening in my life with closer friends and family and not just the faceless masses.

As I stated earlier, I do intend to start blogging with my students online as well, but in a closed environment on topics relevant to the course material we are covering.

I’m getting the feeling that a lot of this will end up being instinctual on a lot of levels for me as I feel my way along the blogging trail. Fortunately, the trail ahead has been well marked and forged by those who have gone before me. There are a lot of really good articles on blogging practices offered by Sue’s readers on her blog and that is my starting point for developing my own best practices. Any other tips or suggestions any of you have for me I would be most appreciative of hearing them! Thanks!

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