I have made some New Year’s resolutions to kick off 2011. One of them is to get this blog started! One big hurdle I have is that I need to get a theme and a layout set up for this. I must confess to being rather overwhelmed by all the choices and as a result I don’t know where to start. So I just decided to get writing and worry about the rest later. In fact I am considering paying a student to do all the set-up for me.
Anyway I have several reasons why I want to start a blog:
It is clear that it would help me order my thoughts and cement them. I think it is a great tool for reflection, as well as the recording of thoughts and insights, and past posts can be referred to at any time.
I notice many of my colleagues use blogs as “classroom” tools. Sometimes the more quiet students blossom online. I already use the journal and assignment upload facilities in Moodle quite regularly, and do enjoy the individual privacy of that tool. As I consider incorporating a blog in my classroom toolkit, I am acutely aware that already students are expected to access a number of sites for their respective classes and do wonder if it would be more efficient to use only one location for all online class activities.
Some blogs I have read have left me in awe of the writing quality out there. The style of blog writing tends to be semi-formal. One blog that impressed me recently started with the two sentences: “Wow. Time flies.” Simple, casual, effective. I don’t know if I can reach such a balance between casual and grammatically correct writing. Anyway, by starting a blog, I am providing a vehicle to improve my writing, which must be a good thing.
I have observed that many bloggers in education use the medium to publish their latest insights and reflections. Although almost always worth reading, they sometimes do come across as sermons, even though the writer may just be recording an insight for his or her personal benefit. I am not sure what tone I want my blog to have: initially I thought it would have a purely reflective feel, considering the good the bad and the ugly of my progress as an educator. Now, however I can feel a more sermonic blog coming on. That will be my next posting, though.
I still need to address considerations such as how will I use it – just for personal reflections, or for class interaction also; how often should I post; should I notify colleagues on Twitter when it is updated; should this become my main class website as well, etcetera. I think I need to spend more time blogging before I make any decisions though.