Prompt: Reflect on your experience performing one of the required collection activities. What did you find most challenging? What questions remain? Why do you think I required it? What advice would you give a student if you could travel into the future and give them advice?
In our Barbaric Blog Yawp post we were tasked with creating a blog post that included a picture of ourselves, links to where we exist online, a meaningful bio, and 2 lists about us. Part of the learning of this assignment is in the reading of my classmates blog as I learn more about them. In so doing, I feel more connected to classmates and a learning community begins to form (social presence). It also gave me an excuse to compile a list of my favorite scary movies as I have been meaning to do for awhile! The challenge for me was trying to let it be a messy post. I have always edited and tweaked as I go so making a draft is difficult for me. I have to spend more time and effort making something stay a draft rather than just getting a good product out there. This is not to say that my work cannot be further improved — just that it’s pretty close to a polished product. Though the assignment here wasn’t to post a draft, the idea of leaving it messy and being ok with it is the same! So my post has headings to organize it and it lacks contradictions and incomplete thoughts.
Similar to the Twitter assignment, I believe this assignment is required because it is a way for people new to WordPress or blogging to get practice with the tool. Requiring us to put some information about ourselves online facilitates the development of social presence in the course, which in turn helps us to feel/be more engaged. In addition, it requires us to actively participate in “digital citizenship,” to learn about it by doing it.
I would advise future students to not be nervous about making such a post. I don’t if any of my classmates were but I do know people who would have panicked about this assignment, as I mentioned in my Yawp. For the overwhelming majority of people, absolutely nothing bad will come of posting a picture, your name, and a few things about yourself. As with all things you do online, you can choose what you want to convey. A teacher who is concerned that students or parents will see it can choose a more professional picture and talk about your passion for teaching instead of politics. Better yet, you can bring in aspects of yourself that are personal but not controversial. Maybe you leave out how much you love to drink too much wine at book club but you can talk about your love for reading, for example. There is real value to your students and others seeing you as a real and imperfect person.