For this activity we were ased to read “Characterising the different blogging behaviours of students on an online distance learning course” a report which looks at the different types of educational bloggers, how they blog and why they blog. Specifically focusing on a group of blogging students who were on the elearning professional OU course.
I will use this as an opportunity to reflect on my own experience of blogging.
This blog ( www.maode.wordpress.com ) is the only public facing blog which I currently update. I have had a number of blogs which I have kept in the past these include:
– A diary which I updated weekly with my personal exploits and shared with friends
– A work related blog in which I reflected on current trends and developments in elearning. http://newlearning.wordpress.com/
Although I am no longer keeping these blogs going, I do not see them as failures, it is just that I don’t have the time or inclination to keep them going at the moment, particularly as so much of my time is involved with my OU coursework and this overlaps with what I would be saying in my work blog anyway.
I also have a private blog through the Institute for Learning’s (IFL) Reflect system. I use this as a brief work diary/ Reflective personal development diary, to keep a record of what I have done and help me plan what I want to do in the future.
This current blog started as a recommendation of the H810 course I took. I found it a useful way of keeping my notes on the weekly activities which, I felt, belonged to me. This is one of the reasons I used wordpress rather than the OU owned moodle blog.
I will try to add my personal comments according to the categories set out by the report:
Perceptions of, and need for, an audience
The blog is primarily for me and my own reflections, so an audience is not that important for me. I do occasionally view the stats to see who has viewed the blog, but it is not that important to me.
Perceptions of, and need for, community
I have only recently discovered the blogs of others on the course and It is good to feel part of a community of bloggers, although my experience from the H810 course was I never found the time to read and comment on these blogs as much as I would have liked.
The utility of, and need for, comments from other bloggers
Its good to get a comment that shows that others are interested in what I have posted, and also to get their view point, but I feel these comments are a bonus and not the main focus.
Presentation of the blog.
I am not great at spelling, even with spell checks and I often post without proof reading so I guess presentation isn’t that important to me. Having said that I do try to personalise my blog with photos from my flickr site and links to other blogs. For me this highlights one of the most important benefits of blogging on an online course where you never get to meet fellow students face to face. If I just read various comments on a forum, It can take a while for me to get to know my tutor group and I have to stop and think did this post come from the same person who posted previously. Having a personal space in the form of a blog, is for me a bit like a face. I know who is writing as soon as I see the page, just as I know who is speaking as soon as i see their face or hear their voice. For me this personal online space is import for building an online community