I was really surprised when I went back through and reread my blog posts. I noticed that my writing became less and less formal as the semester went along. I did like that about blogging. Instead of writing formal papers all the time, I was able to put myself into my writing. I think that was really hard at first because I have spent so many years being told to never refer to myself in a paper.
My writing was always something tech or classroom related. I’m still split on how I feel about my independent learning project. On one hand, I was able to take that time and dedicate that to something that will benefit me in my career. It allowed me to take the time to find ways to improve my classroom and avoid teaching mistakes before they happen. On the other hand, when I look at other people’s more creative and fun independent learning projects, I regret not choosing something a little more outside the box. I can still take the time to learn something new or work on something that I’m not so good at, but it’s really difficult to do that when I’m not trying to spend a required number of hours per week doing that. I found it hard to get those hours in as it was, and I couldn’t imagine trying to do it again while working it into my schedule along with everything else going on next semester. Same goes for my Daily Creates. I started the Daily Creates with high hopes that they would all be quick, fun little things. Some of them were, but most of the time I wasn’t too impressed with the selection of Creates that were available. On the ones I found that I enjoyed, I took close to a half hour working on. The ones I didn’t enjoy took even longer. I just didn’t want to do most of them, so in typical Emily fashion, I make it take as long as possible. If I were to ever do something like this with my students, I think I would make my own version of the Daily Creates. I was hoping that it could be something I could use in my own classroom someday, but I’m just not buying into most of them.
I think being able to occasionally use my blog posts to vent is something I really valued. For example, in my blog post about homework, I was really, REALLY frustrated about the overload of pointless assignments. And I’m going to be honest, sometimes this class was a bit of an overload. And between two blogs a week for this class, my Special Education class assignments, and trying to get in adequate studio time every week, I was a bit frazzled. Ironically, blogging was a way to get out some of that frustration, even though it was part of what was adding to it. As I’ve said before, I’m not a writer. I had a lot of trouble at times getting to the word count. Most of the time, I like to be as to the point as possible with my thoughts, so having a minimum word requirement wasn’t exactly easy. Because of this, I feel like a lot of my blog posts were word vomit. I can still go back and make sense of what I have written, but it’s a lot of filler that doesn’t need to be there. (See what I did there? 😉 ) But in all seriousness, this class and the constant blogging took a toll on me. I know a lot of people enjoy the constant blogging, but I don’t think it will be a major part of my life after this. I’ll continue to blog, but on my own time and about what I want to blog about. I think I’ll enjoy it a lot more when it’s something that isn’t required.
I blogged almost strictly on technology. To me, it’s what this class was supposed to be about so I just stuck with that topic. It was a pretty broad topic, and I think it will help me in the future. However, if I were to continue blogging I would probably shift more towards the art aspect of it. I’m still having a hard time seeing how a lot of current technology will applicable in a general art classroom. Unless I’m teaching art history, students won’t need it. I hate having that attitude about it, but for most classes that I will be teaching, most of what I’m learning is obsolete. I think some of this cynicism did reflect in my blog posts. A lot of what we learned about or used fell short of my expectations. With my mom being the tech person for her school district, I had high hopes for learning about some technology to use in the classroom. I can see how a lot of what we learned could be useful in a general classroom. However, I’m a little disappointed that I can’t see a way of using it in most of my classrooms. Yes, I’ll need to have my students do some research and such for different projects and to search for inspiration and techniques, but that’s going to be a lot of using things like Pinterest, Google Art Institute, and other artsy websites and tools.
I am also still on the fence with using Twitter. Before this class, I had tweeted maybe five times. I rarely posted on Facebook, and I had long since deleted Instagram. Going from that to tweeting twenty times a week was a huge change for me and it was a bit exhausting. I’m one of those people that would rather use social media to get information, not spread it. If I find a cool resource then yes, I’ll share it. I also felt a little awkward asking random questions when our required tweets said we needed to. I know that the people in the class who follow the #diglitclass tag knew what I was talking about, everyone else was probably thinking I was some nutjob that doesn’t know how Twitter works.
I know I’m sounding very cynical about this class, but I did enjoy most of it and I took a lot from it. It got me out of my comfort zone and forced me to do things that I wouldn’t have been open to doing otherwise, like blogging and tweeting.
Photo CC: Steve Rotman