Blogging is Writing & So Much More

For many learners, young and old, there still seems to be a level of mental separation regarding the act of writing online. If we put it down on paper, that’s writing. If we write a post or tweet, that’s blogging. There’s really little difference anymore. What we used to know as writing vaguely resembles what it is today.

Students so often fail to connect their social media engagement and real literacy. Part of that is school’s fault. We educators rarely helps kids see these relationships. But it is also the responsibility of the learner to question what they associate with fun with some of the work asked of them in class. They cannot wait to get out of class so they can…read and write with their friends via smartphone and messenger apps. The irony…

For adults in my generation (X) and beyond, we have our own personal issues with writing vs. blogging. I have heard it all. “I don’t have time.” “I don’t have anything important to share.” “What if no one reads what I write? It will be a waste of time.” “People will think I am a show off.” “I don’t want to risk being misunderstood and offending anyone.”

This surprises me. All educators have something to share. I believe the various concerns listed previously really boil down to one main reason: “I am scared.” It is not unreasonable to feel nervous about putting oneself out there. Even after several years of blogging, I still feel an ounce of worry anytime I select the “publish” button.

But fear is not the primary emotion that should guide people’s lives. Fear can prevent us from making mistakes, and it can also prevent us from learning from experience. Fear can guide our decision making to play it safe, yet without risk how would we ever grow? Fear inhibits our emotions, but at the detriment of letting others know us better as people.

If you elect to avoid blogging, it does not mean that you are any less open to sharing your expertise and ideas with others. Maybe you have a group of educators that meets regularly and collaborates openly about your work. Yet it is unfortunate that others cannot reap the knowledge you have to share. Our world would be a smarter one. Just as important is that your students do not get to see digital citizenship in action. Students emulate what we model as adults, even if they won’t admit it.

So I ask – why not put yourself out there?

 

 

Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is a 17-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th grade teacher. After seven years of teaching, he served as a dean of students, assistant principal and athletic director before becoming an elementary principal in Wisconsin Rapids. Matt is now an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District (http://mineralpointschools.org/). Matt tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD (www.ascd.org) and Lead Literacy (www.leadliteracy.com).

8 thoughts on “Blogging is Writing & So Much More”

  1. Matt, So perfectly stated! The whole post hits (uncomfortably so) close to home & heart. But I agree, “But fear is not the primary emotion that should guide people’s lives.” Thanks for the timely and well-written reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember when people used to write their thoughts and feelings on a dairy and keep it personal. Now, blogging is a nice platform to express your views and to get instant suggestions. Blogs and forums are good to use by students and should be encouraged.

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  3. I actually had to start blogging for one of my grad school classes, and I wasn’t comfortable at the beginning, but I am starting to enjoy it a lot more, and I agree with you, Matt, why not put yourself out there?

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  4. I love blogging, but I find that writing posts takes me a long time. Even when I try not to overthink it, I tend to think of more to say. I mean, I have plenty to say; it’s just the matter of finding the time to say it.

    I do think fear is something to consider in all writing. I always tell my students that what they think is important and that they have something to say–that’s one of the reasons I have my composition students blog. Great post.

    Like

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