I posted a version of this to the Moodle site, but I thought it was good enough to make public.
From talking to a couple of you, it sounds like there might be a little technostress going on from trying to introduce so many tools at the same time. So first of all… yay! If you’re stressed out from looking at everything at once, then you’re interested and working ahead. That’s good, right?
For this week, the only technology we’re looking at is blogging. (There was some technical stuff here about blogging which I’m leaving on Moodle. It was very “click here”-ish.)
You might be thinking “well, great, Joe, but what do I write”? Our general guidance for this week is “reflect on your readings and/or your visitor-resident map.” Beyond that, it’s a matter of finding your style. I’ll share 3 things that I think are key – one that I think I’m good at, one that I think I’m getting better at, and one which is really hard for me.
Links are how a document knows it’s on the web. I’m borrowing that turn of phrase from Kenyon student Daniel Olivieri. (See what I did there?) So my first piece of advice is to link liberally. Link to the article you’re reflecting on. Link to another piece it reminds you of. Link to an explanation of a disciplinary concept you’re applying. Link to a place where you’ve got a digital presence, or directly to your presence on that platform. Link to someone else’s post on DigPINS that interested you.
Of course, that’s a style choice, and it doesn’t fit every possible kind of blogging you might do. But I do believe that links are the difference between a document that’s really “in the web” and one that’s just published electronically, so I encourage you to think about them.
This is the one I’m trying to get better at. I’m a pretty textual guy and if you look at my blogging, you’ll see a lot of walls of text. But there are lots of ways to leaven your writing with images, from literal illustrations or figures to images which you use to make a point, or enhance a theme, or just make a joke.
Again, that’s a style choice, and you can use as many or as few images as you like. Without getting into the “click here” or the copyright discussion right now, I’ll say that you can insert images with a button on WordPress which says “Add Media”, and you can either use URLs for images on the web, or upload images to be hosted on our site.
Just hit publish
This is the one I’m just bad at. As you can see from this message, I like to write a lot of things and have them relatively polished before I release them. That’s my style, and I’m OK with it. But the risk of writing small numbers of long posts is that I have a bunch of half-finished blog drafts or ideas instead of an active blog, and that’s kind of a shame. There are a number of more successful bloggers who are more prepared to stop a post abruptly, and then pick up the idea in a new post later on. Remember, you can write a second post, or you can engage us in the comments to flesh out an idea… but only if you hit publish on the first post.
I have more thoughts, but I should take my own advice and just hit publish!
OK, one more thing. I do believe that when you use images from the web, you should cite them. So the picture of Bob Ross is taken from Wikipedia.