In keeping with Pernille and Rafranz’s concept of sharing the good and the bad, I thought I would share some of the learning I have experienced whilst encouraging students to participate in the Student Blogging Challenge over the past few years (over 90 in 2014). I have written previous posts sharing the highlights.
- Blogging will not appeal to all students – I have cajoled and encouraged a number of quite capable students who just do not ‘get -it’ at this stage in their lives. By ‘get-it’ I mean they don’t share my enthusiasm for writing for an audience. No amount of reinforcement will make them enthuse about blogging. They may prefer to write in a paper journal or not at all.
- Following on from the first point, tech savvy does not equal keen blogger. My most tech savvy students are often the hardest to get on-board with their own blogs. I presume they have their own outlets for online expression.
- The idea of an authentic audience does not inspire all students to proof-read and edit. The [SHIFT] key is still elusive and seems to require way too much effort.
- Students make mistakes – posting a poorly thought out and quite inappropriate post about a violent computer game was the catalyst for some great discussion but proved that some students are a long way off identifying what is appropriate to share in different places.
- We all need more practice at reading digital text for instructions – often students struggle to skim read for important text and when working with on-line instructions fail to get all the required information.
- Changing habits in respect of the ethical use of images and music is quite difficult. Although they can spout the correct line, they soon revert to easy options when not being reminded.
None of these points convince me that blogging is not an enormously worthwhile activity with students, but they paint a realistic picture of the realities confronting us when we do so.