Regarding the first outcome, I feel that keeping a blog did help me consider a “variety of genres.” Not only was I able to reflect in a few entries about the genres (and my questions about them), but I was also able to reflect on what I learned as a whole about each genre. (See my previous post here.) I think that I have an overall quality understanding of each genre and why it might be used.
The second outcome is something that took me an entry or two to get used to. I’m not used to writing for myself; writing based on what I think. I’m used to writing critical analyses of autobiographies for my English major, not writing on a blog about what I think about something. I feel that this is an outcome that blogging really helped me understand. I have thought frequently about my purpose for this blog, as well as my audience (considering that I feel most attached to this blog because I am writing to myself, I’d say I did a pretty good job of keeping my audience interested! Slight joke here.) In my blog, I also considered the importance of developing clear purposes and audiences for my students, as you will find in my blog entry here.
Regarding the fourth outcome, I feel that the relationship between reading and writing, in my mind, has been strengthened. I spent a great deal of time this semester considering different things I read. Whether it was my disagreement with the author, agreement with the author, confusion about a topic in the reading, or commenting on what the reading was about, my understanding of that text strengthened as I blogged about it. At the same time, I also feel that the way I wrote in each of these blogs tended to change depending on what reading I was discussing. There were times when I felt it necessary to point specifically to passages or quotes from the readings, and there were times when I felt that I had to alter the way my text looked in my blog to adjust to the way that I felt, or to enforce a point I was trying to put down. Reading helped me to consider how I wanted my voice to sound in my blogs. Did I want it to sound professional and eloquent or did I want it to sound comical and choppy? It was all dependent on my subject.
Finally, I would like to address the sixth outcome. This blog is a digital writing assignment. Without this assignment, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t ever have created a blog to discuss my thoughts on topics learned in class. Looking back on the semester, it is important to note that this blog enabled me to make sense of what I thought; it gave me an outlet to connect with and question my readings. Without a blog, I may have done these things, but definitely not as in depth as I did on Blogger. Through my reading and responding on this blog throughout the semester, I have developed a greater understanding of how to use digital resources for reading and writing (the most important being blogging), and how to influence the way that students think and the way that students think about how they think.
Overall, I think this was a great semester of learning and fun. Through this blog, I was able to articulate my thoughts in any way that I wanted to. I took ownership of this space. Although it is a very public space, it is also a very private space. I was able to think the way that I wanted to, and I couldn’t be told differently. Words flow in the blogosphere without thought and without concern. The prospect of using a blog with my future classroom is exciting. I think I still have some work with the idea of blogging and how to use it for a specific grade level. However, after engaging in one myself, over the course of the last few months, I understand the process and can better articulate it to my students in the future. Here’s to much, much more blogging!