On the first day of class, when I found out we would be blogging, I was a little bit taken aback. I had never blogged before, neither personally nor academically, yet, here I was, having to share my thoughts very publicly, with the added complication that the majority of my blogging audience would be complete strangers.
When it was time for me to actually sit down and write my first blog post, I struggled a lot with the tone of the writing. A blog is certainly a lot more conversational than a formal writing assignment. However, at the same time, I still wanted to make sure that my ideas were written in a way that would convince my peers to accept what i was saying. Looking at the evolution of my posts over the semester, I would say that they became more and more conversational as time went on. As we “got to know each other” through this virtual community, it became much easier to just let ideas flow onto the screen and not be afraid to let my personality shine through my posts.
The fact that most of us do not know each other added an additional dimension to the blogging experience. When I was writing posts, I was less concerned about being judged for my ideas because I knew that I was presenting them to people I would never meet face-to-face. Similarly, I think the anonymity allowed us to offer constructive advice in our comments to others’ posts. While I was always conscious to remain polite, i found it much easier to voice my opinion if I disagreed with something someone had said in a post. The conversational nature of blogging also helped with this, as I was able to disagree without sounding too harsh.
Overall, my first experience at an academic blog was definitely one that I enjoyed. The blog always felt very collaborative and it was always reassuring to have people support my ideas or helpful to have fellow tutors offer techniques and tools that I can use to better my own tutoring. TM2 has opened my eyes to a whole new type of learning and one that I look forward to engaging in in the future.