Walking Stick Blogger

A Learning Space for Literacy and English Language Learners

Starting Blogging: Consider your Focus

Getting started is one of the toughest things to do..you don’t know who your audience is. You feel weird typing words on a blank text field you are unsure anyone will read.

First, write for yourself. What can you blog today that will have value to you a year from now? Posting your vacation pictures and video clips is a great first start. you want to add as much detail as possible to ensure the post has cues to prompt your memories. Maybe add a voice recording to your text descriptions and photos, to add more you(as you are now) into the post.

Second, write for your family and friends. What do think might be useful additional detail or background explanations so that your friends and family are on the same page as you are, and understand you more. We often deliberately re-mix our experiences depending on who we are presenting ourselves to, so be aware of how you are changing your self-presentation.

Third, write as a learner. You are using the blogging tool to create drafts, to connect ideas, to share thoughts and experiences, to monitor your own progress. You are modelling how to engage in critical analysis, reviewing sites, blog posts, slide presentations, podcasts, videos, and books and music.

Fourth, write as a cultural ambassador. You are representing the culture from which you are from. If you are working with students from other cultures, then it is suggested that you write commentary on common cultural assumptions, and compare differences. perhaps relate your own experiences with culture shock while living/working/vacationing abroad.

Fifth, write as the mentor for your students. Relating your own personal experiences and observations about the foreign culture, and explaining common reasons for misunderstandings, can be a vital part of intercultural exchange, so that one’s own students and the guest students would all benefit from your insights.

Sixth, write as a colleague. Place yourself in the role of observer, documenting this learning process, and report on it for other instructors interested in doing the same thing. Blog your reflections on practice not just for your professional development, but  for a larger professional audience of educators. Consider yourself as an active researcher-practitioner, where you are involved in action research, identifying successes and challenges, noting down what works and what does not, summarizing students’ responses, what was enjoyed, and what was frustrating.

Next, the blogging activities you decide upon for your students need to consider different types of student bloggers.

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netizenship • June 2, 2014

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