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“I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth [about blogging].”

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: making this blog has been nothing short of disastrous. I’ve wondered from the beginning if it was just me…you’ll notice from my first blog post that I have a little technology-anxiety. To say I’ve struggled with creating this blog is an understatement. But, in the hopes of learning something (and because it’s what I would want my students to do), I’m going to break it down for you: the good, the bad, and the ugly about wordpress and my personal blogging experience.

First the good: I’m excited about blogs. I think that they’re a fun and new way to express yourself. I love reading blogs from people around the world, and I regularly follow both education and entertainment blogs. In fact, I really dislike when my bloggers go out of town or take a break from blogging, because I depend on reading them as a part of my morning and evening internet routines. Writing and creating this blog has given me a renewed appreciation for the maintenance and work behind the seemingly effortless pages that I follow. I’ve learned that it takes a great deal of tenacity, ingenuity, and wit to keep those blogs fresh and exciting (or even to figure out where to post things so that people can actually SEE them…).

Next the bad: I’m sorry to say, but I just don’t think I’m a blogger. I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but my technology anxiety coupled with my technology ineptitude have forced me to recognize that this probably just isn’t my medium.

I find it extraordinarily easy to express myself, and I have a lot to say about education. But there’s something about publishing your thoughts that seems not only narcissistic, but slightly silly. Because I’ve never taught before, I can’t gauge how helpful or unhelpful my contributions are. I’m not sure if anything I recommend is actually useful, and I’m really not sure if my lesson plans would pan out. I’m uncomfortable giving advice on books to read, sites to visit, and classroom plans because I don’t know if any of those things are legitimately helpful to teachers.

Finally, the ugly: WordPress is excruciating to use. Sorry to be dramatic, but if I ever did decide to create a blog (or, as is more likely the case, if I were to have my students create blogs), I would never, EVER use wordpress. I find the interface extremely difficult to use and I don’t get why you can’t create posts on pages. It’s confusing and not so conducive to new-blogger success.

That being said, I’m pretty proud of my final product. It’s not perfect, but the learning process has meant a lot to me.  I will probably never physically revisit this blog (there’s something that seems like it would be inherently embarrassing: like rereading an old diary or flipping through yearbooks past). I will, however remember what it felt like to struggle with it, and the frustration that arrises out of not knowing what to click, or how to make it look like I wanted it to look. My blogging lessons are less about the final product and more about technology, expression, and making things work for you.

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Here’s the thing that I’ve found out about being a part of this whole New Media world. Sometimes, it’s awesome. I get excited about sharing my thoughts and ideas with people around the world. I can’t even fathom what how much information there is out there (both useful and not so useful). And, it all looks so easy from the outside! B ut other times, the awesome wears off. It’s unpredictable, difficult to understand, and cryptic. Sure, I’m on Facebook, I tweet, I find Skype enthralling! But blogging is another story.

First of all…computers and I don’t have the best relationship or the best track record. Like an animal that senses my fear, computers have messed with my head (shutting down, breaking down, anything frustrating short of spontaneously combusting in my face) for many years now. I’m not one of those people who brings a computer to class, or sits in a coffee shop creating seamless presentations. I’m a regular old-fashioned pen and paper kind of gal, and sometimes the world of computers can seem like more trouble than it’s worth.

But one thing, and one thing only drives me to be more technologically literate–I know that my future students are going to know how to use their computers left, right, and center. I want to be able to talk with them about the online communities that they participate in. I want to be able to appreciate technology the way that they appreciate it. Mostly, I want to use technology to make my lessons and my assignments more stimulating, exciting, and meaningful for my students. Reluctantly, I trudge along.

Students just don’t understand the sacrifices we make!