Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Entry #12

I cannot believe that this is my last blog of the semester. It’s amazing how quickly time passes, and honestly, how much we learned in such a short amount of time. I normally think back to the beginning of the semester as it comes to an end; however, I have never written about it. I guess I’ve never considered paying attention to the objectives of the class and whether I feel that they were sufficiently met. As I consider this, I think about how important it is to reflect on anything and everything. We encourage our students to constantly think about what they’ve finished (whether it is a writing piece, a project, or a unit test). I don’t think we reflect enough as educators. It is just as important that we consider what we have learned. I feel that every Student Learning Outcome was sufficiently met throughout the course. Keeping this in mind, I will only touch on the few outcomes that I feel were most important, especially when I consider the conversations I engaged in through my blog.

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!


  1. Lauren, your blog has certainly been a great learning experience to participate in this semester. You have clearly shown an ability to use this medium to explore, to question, and to deepen your understanding. As you said...."Words flow in the blogosphere without thought and without concern." I think what you were implying here is that blogging offered you a new sense of freedom or an enhanced ability to use writing-to-learn. Would you agree? The reason why I just want to "press" here is because I would not agree that your blogs have been constructed without thought and without concern. Do you think you could say, your entries were constructed "without the sense of permanency and instead were composed with a sense that your ideas were dynamic (instead of static)?"

  2. I was definitely referring to a sense of freedom. Being able to write without thought and concern meant more in regards to the fact that I wasn't concerned about being "right" or "wrong." I spent more time focusing on what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I think that this was an important lesson for me to learn, considering that I am ALWAYS looking to be right (although an admirable quality, I must say that it infringes on my ability to freely write at times). I liked the idea that blogging meant that I could say my thoughts at that moment, and revisit them to see how they had changed, or potentially stayed the same. I suppose a better way of saying "without thought and without concern" would be that I felt I was able to say what I wanted to say without fear of being told that it wasn't good enough or "smart" enough!

    Blogging is definitely something I intend to use in the future (near and far)!

  3. YES! YES! YES! Thank you for expanding on your entry here. I really love how you have become more self-aware of the tension between wanting to "get it right" and just giving yourself time to consider what "might be right." This is what Gordon Wells calls *epistemic thinking.* He even argues that to be literate one must be capable of engaging in epistemic thinking. :-)

    Wells, G. (2004). Dialogic Inquiry: Towards a Socio-cultural Practice and Theory of Education. Cambridge University Press.