“The fact that so many of us are writing — sharing our ideas, good and bad, for the world to see — has changed the way we think. Just as we now live in public, so do we think in public” –Clive Thompson
The above words from Clive Thompson, really affected me as an individual living in the 21 century and also as a teacher. In Thompson’s article, he talks about how we are “global culture of avid writers” who are almost always writing for an audience. I personally have never ever thought of myself as a writer. I have never loved writing essays or creative stories. But Thompson’s words made me realize that in some sense I do “write”. Every Facebook status update, Instagram sentence or 140 character tweet is me “writing” my thoughts to the world. We really do “think in public”. As I have mentioned before, I am rather quiet in the social media and digital world, I know there are many people who voice their thoughts and opinions online much more than I do. Even though I choose not to post frequently, I strongly support those that do! It is an amazing age that we live in! Freedom of speech takes on a whole new meaning in the 21st century when someone in Canada can blog on a current issue and know that it can be read by someone on the other side of the world in a matter of seconds!
Clive also discusses how when we post online, on any social media outlet, that we are writing for an audience. A lot more thought goes into writing when you are writing for an audience in comparison to writing in a personal journal. One of the main reasons I decided to have my students blog for my major project was have them write for a larger audience. I really enjoyed the research that concluded that students put more effort into their writing when they were writing for someone more than just their teacher. I am excited to see if my students writing improves from blogging a few times a week!
My students will be introduced to their blogs this week. A huge fear of mine has been whether my 7 year old students will be capable of handling the task of setting up their personal blog and creating a new blog post at least once per week. I know I need to give them more credit, I do know with proper teaching and encouragement that my student’s blogs can be very successful!
The article, Blogging in the classroom: Why your students should write online,stated that I am not alone in fearing that my students skills and writing might be too weak for a public audience. Michael Drennan counteracts this point by stating that blogging with students is a great way to show the progression of writing. My students will be blogging from February to June. I look forward to seeing an increase in their spelling, sentence formation and use of punctuation over these five short months!
I hope to find a new love for blogging with students over the next five months. I truly hope the benefits and successes outweigh the frustrations and that I continue to blog next year as well! Time will tell!