Monday, 26 November 2012

Blog 6: To Blog or Not to Blog?



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As I sit here writing what perhaps may be my final blog entry, I reflect upon the challenges and rewards of blogging. Although my experience has been brief, I have gained greater insight into the act of blogging, myself as a learner and the many opportunities that exist to connect with others. 

Below is what I've learned about myself and blogging so far...

Challenges
  • identifying key topics and/or issues to include in my blog
  • evaluating the relevance of what I choose to blog about
  • developing motivation to blog beyond what is required
  • authoring to an invisible audience/readership
  • extending blogging beyond academic purposes to the personal
Rewards
  • investing time into researching topics that I would not otherwise pursue
  • recognizing my growth and development as a blogger
  • dwelling on relevant topics related to education and technology
  • participating in a collective that has supported my learning
  • reading others' blogs to consider the perspectives, values and interests of others

Through the exercise of blogging, I have learned to develop greater trust and confidence in working collaboratively beyond face-to-face interaction. Initially, I was very hesitant and anxious about my ability to communicate effectively with others and unsure as to how I would develop an online presence. Through blogging, I believe I have learned to do both - although there is still room to grow.

I have found that interacting with others online has encouraged me to become more conscious and purposeful in word choice and content. I have learned to evaluate and edit my ideas, always being mindful of my audience. This has also caused me to become more reflective in my learning - to explore and challenge myself to investigate unfamiliar topics and questions that would otherwise be left unanswered.

The Verdict
I remain undecided as to whether I will continue blogging. There are many reasons why I should continue. However, I believe I need to step back to evaluate the motivation and meaning behind my decision to do so.

This blog may be inactive in the next few weeks, months or perhaps indefinitely. However, from this novice experience of blogging, another may arise. That is a decision to be made in another time and place.

Many thanks to everyone who has taken time to read this blog. Your comments and contributions have made this first experience and journey worthwhile.


Sincerely,

Nancy


Here are some articles related to whether one should continue blogging:

To Blog or Not to Blog: Why Female Academics Should Take the Risk

Young Bloggers Stop Blogging and Grow Up, Study Says

Should You Stop Blogging?




6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,
Thank you for a thought provoking post this week. This post forced me to consider whether or not I will continue to blog and/or follow blogs in the future. I agree with the reward that being a part of an educational collective is very supportive to learning. I think that it may also be an encouraging supplement to my learning of educational topics once my masters’ courses are completed. As well, this may be a way for me to remain a part of this academic collective, which I admit I will miss being a part of. However, I think that it may take some time to get back to having the time to blog. There have been weeks that our blogs have been due that I have had to use all of my willpower in order to complete my writing. Perhaps this would change when there is no longer a grade associated with blogging? Thanks again Nancy and good luck with your (possible) future blogging!
Andrea

Lia Shemer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,
thank you for your thoughts.
When I was reading your blog I found myself nodding with my head to agreeing upon your challenges and rewards.
As you, in my blog I wrote that I am not sure if I will continue writing, but In a way I want to. I feel that through blogging I can write my thoughts and express myself, I feel that I enjoy reading comments and I enjoy searching materials, pictures, links and ideas to write about. I feel that I this is my media, my option, my expression.
However, I fell that as we learned in order for a blog to be good we need to develop our thoughts, we need to use sufficient information, we need to have people reading it, and we have to keep it on a regular basis, and in this case I do not know if this is something I can maintain and definitely see this as my challenge in continuing writing a blog.
thank you and good luck
Galit

Greg Luterbach said...

Hi Nancy

I encourage you to continue blogging. It does not have to be onerous. It does not have to be academic. Just tell some of your stories. Find a colleague or two and uses blogs as a vehicle to share. A collective can be 2-3 people!

Through blogging you are modelling for your students how networks can be built; how publishing and receiving feedback can be such a powerful tool in writing.

Keep trying!

Greg

Nancy Toy said...

Hello Everyone.

Thanks for your empathetic and encouraging words. Please do not think I have written off blogging entirely. I remain undecided.

As suggested by Greg - perhaps the opportunity to develop a blog outside of academia would be more motivating and sustainable.

You've all given me much to think about.

Thanks!

Nancy

christinaforgeron said...

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for sharing some interesting articles. Like you, I really enjoyed delving into topics i wouldn't normally explore and writing about them. I found the audience part of my writing to be confusing. I didn't feel I was writing in a focused way to an audience who are collectively interested in my interests so I would probably focus my blog a bit more towards my own specific interests. Other than that, it's been a wonderful experience that I plan to continue. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Christina