How blogs put me off openly reflecting and why they won’t any longer.

If asynchronous forums lead to overly formalised peer discussion, is blogging just more of the same?

My opinion on the standard VLE forums is that they are not fit for purpose. Their sluggish nature discourages spontaneity and genuine conversation. Course designers can completely ignore how students will use them and ask them to post long responses to questions. Long posts don’t get meaningful replies for a variety of reasons and so this approach is essentially asking students to perform a monologue that will go unheard. Probably.

In a face-to-face classroom, genuine discussions can be had, students will chat informally but on task. The teacher won’t be listening to them all and won’t be trying to get them to reply in a constrained way (“talk to your peers using 200 words or less”).

I started this WordPress blog in April, at the beginning of lockdown. My intention was to blog highly thought-provoking and articulate posts that the word of ed tech would find incredibly useful and wise. A tall order I am sure you will agree, and the pressure of this is probably what led to me only posting 3 times up until today.

So many students and academics blogs are well written, full of useful citations and insights. You can tell a lot of thought, time and effort goes into them. This adds to the pressure.

What I really want is a place to reflect on what I am reading and learning in an informal way. As I write this post I realise this blog can be whatever I want it to be. If I want to post uncited musings then I can.

And that’s what I’ve done.

One thought on “How blogs put me off openly reflecting and why they won’t any longer.

  1. Yes! I shall be using my blog again as part of #H818 but also hope to continue. And it is MY blog so I can post as little, often and as badly typed as I want. They are not my academic stall (I appreciate for some people their blogs are more formal and in a sense business like as that is their aim). my blog is a little insight into my min, thinking out loud and sometimes venting.

    I think comparing your own blog to that of a ‘professional’ academic blogger or someone with huge reach is in the same bucket as comparing your body to supermodel, photoshoppped Instagram accounts – you’ll always come away feeling rubbish!


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