At the beginning of the semester I found myself a little scattered. After hearing that we got to pretty much pick what we were learning about for the next 16 weeks was a new and strange concept I think for most of my digital literacy class. Not very often do you hear your teachers ask you, “What do you want to learn about this year?” or “Pick something that interests you and we’re going to spend the semester learning all about it.” It so happens that this semester I actually got the class that was based off each students personal interests. How great is that!? Our professor gave us new tools to learn as well as some other guidelines we had to meet but the rest of the discovering was up to us and then sharing it with our classmates via Twitter and blogging.
So as easy as it sounded….I struggled…. again! I had the mindset of, “Oh perfect I’ll pick something I love!” WRONG. We had to do something we were interested in yet still had lots of learning to do with it. More so something that we always were interested in but had never fully perused to our full capabilities. After a few days it finally hit me… kindness. I wanted to learn more about the spreading of kindness. Sounds like a weird concept to want to pursue because most would be a little more original and want to learn more about basketball or cooking. (Truthfully I do wish I would have thought of cooking or baking. I love food.) But kindness it was! Random acts of kindness is where it actually started my journey.
I had done some previous random acts of kindness in high school but I wanted to learn more about it and then share my ideas. As I found ideas, videos, activities, etc., I started merging towards how I could implement kindness into lessons that I teach to my students on a weekly basis. There were so many neat ideas out there that could work for almost all ages! Most of the times my blogs were on new ideas I had found, tried during the semester, had done before the semester or a friend had done it before and shared their ideas with me. (I had lots of help along the way.) I loved the fact that I got to share different activities, videos, quotes, experiences, and random act ideas for my blogging experience.
Blogging was actually a new concept for me too! Honestly I did very little writing in general before this digital literacy class, although it was nice to change up the pace from other classes. When I started editing my blogs at midterm (with my moms help… thank goodness) I found the main errors to be with my punctuation. Most of the time I had the right idea going in my head but the sentences got to long. There were missing commas,or I just have no idea what I was doing, so I just guessed at what punctuation I should use. Whoops! Sometimes when I try to show my expression a lot or try to be funny I would make words all caps… which I am not sure is even allowed, but blogging is more free rain so I did it anyways. I wanted to add more character in my blogs that way my readers enjoyed it because that is what I dread most about reading…. zero expression or emotions shown. So I did it whether it is proper or not and it’s a learning experience either way!
In the past 15 weeks of this semester I haven’t noticed much of change except that 400 words is a lot easier to write than it was during week one. Even while writing this blog I feel as if it is flying by because most of the time I am stuck typing boring forums that have way smaller word count requirements. I do think that the way I show emotion in stories has improved. I may not still do it properly, but I do like to share more personally feelings and stories now. As the weeks kept passing the more communication I was doing on Twitter and classmates blogs. I was much more open and I think that’s what allowed me to show more expression and feelings in my blogs. Once I know the people I surround myself with I am much more comfortable about talking about my life.
It actually surprises how much I enjoy writing blogs now as long as it’s about topics that interest me or I have interest towards. I would have never thought at the beginning of the year that I would like to write more than I did before. I also didn’t think that Twitter would work so well for communicating with my classmates. (Minus the fact that sometimes it was really hard to get your point across in only 150 characters. They should really look into upping that number. ) It’s pretty neat to have professors who actually have their curriculum based on students interest as well as giving them new tools/techniques to benefit them along the way.
A lot of times we were even required to blog about the tools we were given. What did discover? What were the challenges we faced? Would we use it in our classroom? And so much more. Those were some of my favorite blog posts because it taught me something new and something that I could personally use as well as possibly implement into my classroom. Truthfully I don’t think there is anything I would change when it comes the ideas I had in my blogs. My kindness blogs made my heart happy knowing that I was preparing myself with great tools to use with my future students and sharing my ideas with my classmates. I think there is a few during the middle of the semester where I could found better ideas/ activities to use, but I know I wouldn’t take out what I already have. I love all of my blogs especially my ILP ones. They make me feel accomplished and happy inside knowing that I did just a small part in putting a little bit more kindness into the world.
In my writing I can tell when I am really excited to share something I found. I mean not always may the reader be able to tell, but when I go back through and reread it or when I am physically writing it my fingers get going faster than usual. I actually enjoy going back through and rereading my blogs, mainly my ILP ones, because it reminds me of the ways I found to help spread kindness.
Spreading kindness is such an awesome feeling inside. I don’t even need it in return, but I know someday it will pay me back in return when I am needing a little extra pick me up. I think by doing weekly blogging for the last 15 weeks I have become more accepting of writing how I feel. I have never been one to write in diaries or do any sort of free write, but this class has changed me in that aspect. I feel more comfortable sharing personal experiences and feelings knowing others will read and possibly even comment on it. I value the fact that I was able to build that confidence in myself throughout this semester. I can definitely see it in my last few blogs and I think this final blog especially.
It’s pretty cool looking back at all the blogs I wrote in a 15 week period. Noticing changes… good and bad. Smiling at the special comments people left. And most of all knowing that I did take the extra time here and there to share more than expected. This class was a great experience overall.