Since my return, I have had several conversations about concerns members of our school community-- parents, students, teachers and administrators-- might be having about our blogs and what we share on them. There seems to be this underlying notion that only blogs that are vulnerable and open gain attention and thus have value. I have been told that perhaps I am only promoting blogs that seem to "bare their soul" so to speak, that I am only sharing the voices that reveal personal thoughts and feelings.
I hope this isn't the case. I hope that no one feels that the only writing worth sharing is what keeps you up at night. I hope that you all see that I am not intentionally, if at all, promoting only the posts that tend to reveal what is hidden and tender. There is no doubt that these posts, resonate with me, but highlighting only vulnerability has never been my intention.
The goal, if I were to state it simply is to give you a voice. I want you to be heard. I want you to have a space that feels safe and comfortable to be heard. What you say, or if you say anything at all is your choice.
Over the last ten years of working with young people I have noticed that teenagers grapple with several issues: identity, expression and community. These three concepts drive my teaching. People are criticizing the value of teenagers exposing themselves so publicly.
The purpose of blogging is not to bare your soul in some kind of open online diary or journal. The purpose of blogging is to share your voice with a community. My job as I see it is to help you understand how to navigate, understand and employ identity, expression and community. We use these spaces and the conversations that happen on them as learning spaces.
I want you to feel confident about who you are through critical and artistic exploration of your identity. I want you to learn how to clearly articulate your voice in a variety of media in order to find a network of like-minded people in order to create a community of learners that will help you learn during and beyond school.What do you think? Does there seem to be pressure to only share the vulnerable? Do you feel that I only share promote, or highlight this type of voice? I would love to hear what you have to say. There are many of you who write regularly about a variety of topics, what do you think?
We have not taken advantage of these comments spaces, so if you are reading this post, please take the time to share your thoughts.
I think you share posts about various topics, such as the one about mine craft or the post about football. However, I feel like there is emphasis on sentimental and vulnerable. I think this is an impression and not a fact, because sentimental seems to really mark me as a person and is something that I think about for days afterwards, whereas someone's amazingly written story or someone's superb video may blow you away while watching or reading it, but it won't resonate like an emotional post would. So I think that you should start posting those regular posts about highlights that you have read again, because everyone loved reading those. I think that you don't put too much emphasis on vulnerable posts; they emphasize themselves (if that makes sense...)ReplyDelete
I agree with Solal that the vulnerable posts emphasize themselves. Once in a while, It's nice to share a post you really connected with but people also enjoy interesting posts like a cool video, art, writing or anything like that. I think that it was pretty well balanced when you were posting the weekly blogging updates as there was a variety of genres of posts, spread across the grades.
Recently, I have noticed that you have been sharing a lot of the rants, and posts about vulnerability, bubbles, shells, and introverts. I think that if you connect with the post, you can share it. However, we should all keep in mind that blogging is not about having our post recognized by the teacher. That is not the main goal. Blogging is to share your voice with the world and communicate with others. Write what you feel like writing and if you get recognized, good for you but that is not the ultimate goal.
I think this problem with vulnerability isn't the case with me. I find it easier to express myself and who I am online on my blog than actually sitting down with someone and telling them who I am. My writing sort of reflects who I am as a person and I also find it easier and less embarrassing to share my writing online with other people. I am thankful for the system and (because I am I natural introvert) I like it a lot. If course, it's always difficult for someone to express themselves in a vulnerable way, but sometimes they can't decide if they want to share it in person or online, when you know who's listening or when anyone can see it but they're anonymous.ReplyDelete
I do feel that the vulnerable posts are the one's that are more popular. I feel that only posts that are really touching, inspiring, and creative is actually shared with other people. Otherwise, If your post isn't as great as someone else's your post isn't shared. Of course, I do understand that sometimes, posts can be improved upon and aren't the best. But I do feel that everyone has this one great post they will be proud of, and if they are proud of it they should be shared. Sometimes I feel that long posts aren't much valued as short ones. I remember writing a story, and but I dont think I got any views on it, only one or two comments. I feel quite put-down, because I know I spent my whole saturday writing it, and then I check it a few weeks after, and it hardly has any views. There has been only ONE post of mine where I actually got a comment from another teacher- and this is because I tried to write in a style that was a bit more vulnerable, and something 8th graders could easily connect to. I feel some class members get more popularity than other's because what they write does have quality, but I think every single one of our blogs has something to do vulnerability. They should hence be shared.ReplyDelete
This is one quote" The purpose of blogging is not to bare your soul in some kind of open online diary or journal. The purpose of blogging is to share your voice with a community." But what if you want your voice to be heard, but it isn't given much importance as other's?
I feel that you have been very supportive in students blogging about many diverse topics, be it their interests, gaming or sports. However, it is sometimes felt that more emphasis might have been placed on posts that express the lives of students and their inner thoughts, which unintentionally might discourage some students from posting, because behind their head they have the feeling that since their writing style does not really embrace vulnerability and sentimental value, will not be shared and seen by many people. This is not to say that the posts that have been shared are all sentimental or about vulnerable students, or that the posts that have been shared are "not as good", as that is not the case. I feel that the posts shared are superbly written and deserve to be seen by a wide range of people, however to encourage more students to write more often, maybe posts from different people and a more diverse range of topics should be shared, which might also in turn increase the self esteem of students, and encourage them to write about what they really want to write about, and not write about a certain topic just because they want to be heard.ReplyDelete
I agree with what Pavitra and Solal have mentioned previously. More often posts which have an emotional value are given more importance than posts which are just about something you came across on the internet and want to share. I have also noticed that you don't always feel like writing a blogpost with a really deep meaning, but you just feel like sharing something as random as a recipe for some amazing cupcakes you baked over the weekend. Not to say that emotional posts are not good, of course they are and sometimes they even help you open up but we should recognize some other ones too.ReplyDelete
No, it doesn't seem like you are demanding us to write "soul baring" and deep posts. In class although not as often now, you talk about the importance of making the blog a personalized space. Some people feel the need to express themselves through a vulnerable or emotionally charged blog post, some don't. However, since through personal preference you tend to gravitate towards those types of posts, they are usually highlighted in class. This might put pressure on the other 20 people who are either not blogging or don't feel the need to express themselves like that. However, one of the flaws of the human race is that we all look for recognition and in that quest some people feel that they need to blog like that in order to receive it.ReplyDelete
I think that vulnerable, soul baring posts are fantastic, if you are comfortable with sharing them online and can deal with the possible repercussions. They are encouraged but they are also not the only posts that get recognition or attention. There is room for any type of post, but there is also appreciation for deeper posts and I think that this is something really special. If blogging is a person's preferred form of expression, then so be it. I don't see myself completely bearing my soul anytime soon, but I know that if I want to there is a safe space for me do it in. I also understand that not only is it okay... it may even be applauded.ReplyDelete
I don't feel that you are making us write very deep soul bearing posts about ourselves.I think that the more vulnerable the post is the more popular it is and the more it is shared and I think that is what drives people to share such personal deep posts. I can understand why someone would want to post a soul bearing post about themselves they may feel that they have no other place to share this information. I think anybody who wants to post such posts are aloud to and it is up to them what they want to put up on the internet.ReplyDelete
I am afraid I am not clued in on what type of blog posts are shared or get noticed in the school blogging community. However, it seems to me that there could be a certain expectation from the student to conform to some idea or plan when writing a blog post. For instance, I know that there are some students who don't blog actively.Despite constant reminders and encouragement to write a post, you sense some hesitancy. Maybe the blog post written is not profound or anywhere near vulnerable, maybe it is just an observation or a hilarious recall of some incident. That is when I wonder if there are certain expectations that have been set by the teachers to conform to a certain idea or expression. Maybe I am wrong.ReplyDelete
I don't post any confessional posts and now i feel much better after looking at this that my idea was better than what i thought it was. Well i also feel that soul baring posts are good but that not all that mr Raisdana likesReplyDelete
I think there is a reason why I thought that way before, but it's not your words. Maybe it's because of the post you showed us months ago about socializing that made me a bit stressed, and I tried to be deep and something like that even in my game review.ReplyDelete
I never have actually had a thought on what you have said, but I have realised while reading, that I love to share my thoughts, deep and shallow, I cannot share them on facebook, because it is all about photos and short posts that mostly do not make sense. I like facebook, but facebook turns my real online identity into a fake online identity. But blogger and blogging, make me seem very comfortable in writing long paragraphs and sharing lots of my thoughts. There can be pressure in sharing the vulnerable, kids want this attention from many people, so they share thoughts, thoughts that may be used against them in peer pressure or bullying. But if you are strong inside, then you will know the right thing. Not all deep thoughts that are shared are used for bullying.ReplyDelete
Of course, the more vulnerable the posts are, the more comments it gets. However, I don't feel any pressure, I don't think that only vulnerable posts has more value in being posted. I mean, no one expects just one person to comment in every single posts, that would just be insane. I am not really the type of person that shares secrets online, where everyone can just take a look at it, but in my opinion, posting what you choose to post would have more value than posting something someone else wants.ReplyDelete