The truth is out and and I am exposed.
I’m a newcomer to blogging and have mostly experimented with ideas in my blog through trial and error. I’ve been pretending to know what I’m doing, and hoping for the best. I have experimented with the look and feel of my blog and, as a visual thinker, I have tried to incorporate images to support my ideas. And I knew even then it was just – well, okay.
Some of the struggles I’ve had include:
•Topics – Figuring out what to say and how to say it. Justifying that anybody should or will care. Balancing between making the blog ‘mine’ or extending class discussions and assigned responses.
•Layout and Graphic Design – I care about how things look, and get frustrated when I can’t get a post looking quite right. I have also struggled with how Google Reader sometimes handles the formatting. (I always check, but haven’t always been able to do something about it.)
•Comments – Apologies to all –I was completely oblivious on what to do with them (mostly because I hadn’t figured out how to subscribe to them using RSS). To anyone that’s commented on my blog in the past, I promise I’ll do better (I have nowhere to go but up)!
•Privacy and Freedom – My blog is simply where I’m at in a given place and time, yet the internet is unforgiving and forever. This doesn’t scare me, but makes me wary. As someone who works primarily in the Arts this can feel rigid at times. And as somehow who teaches high school it can feel limiting as I’m always aware of the boundaries.
These struggles have lead to the following questions:
1) I spend most of my day exploring creativity. How does blogging help or hinder creative exploration? The arts involve lots of experimentation – can you (or to what degree should you) experiment when your audience is potentially anyone and everyone?
2) Are there examples of bloggers who create using different types of text (visual, audio, written…)?
3) Are there good sources for improving the look or design of a blog? Many of my students are visual artists and I would like to show them some possibilities.
4) I appreciate the guidance, encouragement and wisdom Sue Waters shares, and I would like to extend this to my high school students. However, this guidance may not necessarily be connected with a specific class I teach (think the arty crowd). Instead, I’m sometimes approached by the type of student who seeks out unique opportunities and wants to connect with others. Specifically, how do I help these students begin to safely create their PLN? Is this even appropriate if it’s not directly part of a class?
In the spirit of support (calling on creative writers and visual artists) – a creative writing student I taught last year (she’s in 1st year university now) – has created her own blog and is attempting to establish her own PLN through Twitter and a Facebook group, but I know she’s finding it challenging. Luckily she is patient and tenacious.
I realize that’s exactly what I need to be, too.