Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reflections on why I blog ... sometimes

I haven't blogged lately, so when Carla Arena tagged me to answer the question, "What are YOU blogging for?" I thought it would be the perfect chance to create a post for this blog.

For me, I started this blog in the beginning to continue my learning and professional development. At the beginning, I thought learning to blog was just a set of technical skills; however, I quickly realized that blogging isn't just a technology thing, it is people thing, and it is all about learning, reflecting on learning, and connecting with others who are interested in continuing to learn as well. Especially this year, as I co-moderated Blogging4Educators, I found that commenting and sharing our learning was very powerful, indeed! I commented on participants' blogs, and they commented on mine. By working together and finding connections, we discovered the power of synthesizing our reflections through blogging, tagging, and RSS.

That's why after watching this video, I couldn't agree more with the second speaker, who stated,
"Not only did it [blogging] enable me to comment on their [the students'] learning, which they were reflecting on in their blogs, but they were commenting on my learning, and I thought that was really very powerful."

As for this blog, sometimes I blog a lot, and other times I blog little here. Unfortunately, a lot of posts I only think about, but don't carve out the time to actually write. As a teacher, during the last school year, I blogged with students for the first time, and we ended up making some amazing contacts with people from many countries through our class blog. To be honest though, I have blogged most consistently on my personal blog and this has allowed me the opportunity to deepen connections with friends and family, even though we're miles and miles apart. Blogging lessens the distance somehow. We can see and feel each other's thoughts and that's why I blog -- to feel connected -- both personally and professionally to those I care most about and those who I'm just meeting.

I would like to pass the question on to a few bloggers who I hope will share their thoughts about blogging: AnaMaria, Monica, Jen Verschoor, Illya, and Patricia.


cristina costa said...

Blogging is much more than pushing a couple of buttons to create your own spot. It is not difficult, just complex until you find your voice.After that it becomes a pleasant challenge which can also be quite fun. And indeed, the key to valuable blogging is the exchange of ideas that "accumulate" in the comment area.
It is great to learn with what others offer us through their written feedback. It is also motivating to see that someone as actually read what we have written - it like welcoming them into our world.
Sometimes I ask people: "how does it make you feel get comments on what you write?" makes me smile... it makes me feel good...I am glad I was able to take a couple of minutes aside to share some thoughts. But like Carla mentions...the share button, which supposedly should be connected to my brain, is still missing...and so I can' blog about everything crosses my mind. Still this is been a great adventure and like you I feel very blessed for all the contacts and links that I have been able to establish through this means of communication...of sharing ...and daring. I doubt I would share as much f2f as I do online... or meet so many think-alike people.
And that might have to be with the written word too.
Thank you for blogging!

Berta said...

Hi Mary,
Thanks so much for leaving a message in our tag board. Yes, each student has his own wiki page and since our main objective is writing, it comes very handy to have all the wonderful tools a wiki has such as keeping track of all the changes made to a text as it has been revised by the author and peers. I love blogging but was forced to see the benefits of having a class wiki, especially for this course.
I still keep three of my original blogs -now with regard to blogging-one I use to remember how I use tools and why ... it is like my memory keeper at Motime (I visit it at least once a week to remember certain things), then I have my oldie, a blogger blog from BaW 2006 where I write once in a while, and then my Wordpress blog from Openwebpublishing with Bee and Patricia from 2007 which has turned into my complaints about the situation in my country and how trapped I have felt as the years go by under this political regime ... I try not to visit that one that often, ha, ha.

I admire people who have made blogging a fulfilling and reflective activity and share it with their community.

BTW, I loved the pictures from Tesol and I bet you had a ball with all the fantastic webheads!!!

Hugs, Berta

Mary H said...

@Cris Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I had to laugh about the share button that we should have attached to our brains!! So many ideas, but we never have the time to blog all of them; nevertheless, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to blog and express ourselves.

Your question about how does it make you feel to get comments when you write is excellent, and especially relevant during the comment challenge. I haven't been an active participant, but would like to blog on the subject of commenting.

@Berta You're welcome! I really enjoyed seeing the wiki you set up for your class, and it looks like the students are really enjoying themselves there.

I have too many blogs too! Each one has a special meaning for me, but One Teacher's Journey was my first blog, and I can't seem to stop writing here, even though I think I've come to appreciate Wordpress more recently.

inpi said...

Hello, Mary!

I've enjoyed reading your post about blogging as I'm just starting to blog, and by now, trying to post 5 comments in 5 minutes (impossible task!) in the context of the Comment Challenge.
"...they were commenting on my learning, and I thought that was really very powerful."
This is a beautiful quote and it touched me: this year, I'm sharing my e-learning experiences with my young students, thus I recognize the truth hidden int these inspired words.

Mary H said...

Hi Ines, Thanks for sharing your blogging experience in less than 5 minutes!! When you have more time I would love to hear more about your e-learning experiences and your work with younger learners too! Hope to see you around the blogosphere again soon ;)