english4blogging

Nives' endeavours as an English Teacher

THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE “TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG”

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Let me be the devil’s advocate on being ‘Contrary to Blogging’ – although I have just shortly begun to blog when until only 12 months ago the whole idea of ‘blogging’ did actually seem absurd. So allow me to show you the reasons why I was so ‘au contraire’ to this medium of communication. Then you, like me, can reach your own conclusions on the ‘to blog or not to blog’ issue.
Why am I going to tackle this subject now after becoming a novice blogger…well I aptly thought in lieu of the upcoming Fall Blog Festival on WizIQ http://www.wiziq.com/course/53478-fall-blog-festival someone should offer the other side of the coin if only to prove the right or wrong reasons to start blogging. And perhaps just somehow make blogging at all seem worthwhile at best. After all in a healthy debate one would assume to be able to foster both sides of the argument well enough to convince the jury of listeners. Many years ago one of my Law Studies Professors said that if you could argue both sides of the case equally well then you would know your opposition’s moves with all the right armaments to carry on the battle till the end and may even come out on top. Not all may agree but this is really just another way of understanding ‘empathy’ – if you can empathize with your enemy then it’s so much easier to empathize with those you do not hate. Empathy is something Teacher’s do need to have in their tool boxes to deal with their colleagues, administration, parents and mostly with their beloved ‘students’ – or at least that’s how I see it.
Firstly allow me to describe the motives why some time ago the whole idea of blogging would have sounded absurd. Following is a list of the reasons why you wouldn’t want to start a blog:
1. Privacy issues – with all the problems of identity scams etc. why on earth would you want to air, publicly for that matter, your personal information for others to perhaps ‘steal’ or endanger you in some way.
2. Black on white (print in any form) will still be around even when you’re not and will it be a fine legacy of your thoughts or the bane of your family’s heritage – a point worth considering.
3. Opening up one’s feelings and thoughts just for others to trample upon with vile criticism (even if sometimes criticism in any form could be perceived constructive) doesn’t seem viable in my books.
4. Creating a public profile to better equip your curriculum of personal endeavors could backfire on you with your next possible employer. Any reason or even a snide remark of the wrong political taste and the company doors are suddenly slamming you out on your tail.
5. Aiming for those 15 minutes of fame that many feel belong to them, do you really want others to see you in all your facets and lose your anonymity which could have been your safe haven till now.
6. Inviting others into your world of knowledge is like opening the gates to the garden of Eden/Pandora’s box and forever giving away your ‘ideas’ for others to copy and even develop further. It’s just natural to think your life’s hard work can be easily plagiarized once it’s openly visible to the whole wide world – even if you only have a meager 100 followers reading your blog posts – and that can be a lot just imagine their network of communication.
7. Baring yourself to buffoonery on the part of ‘smart alec’ students who may try their damnedest to take their Teacher’s down a peg or two just for fun. (Of course this would depend on what type of Teacher you are too – the one who controls the class or the one who is controlled by the class which has nothing to do with the Teacher’s height by the way).
7.1. NB: your colleagues can also use this ‘tool’ to either mark you for destruction or ridicule your methods of communication, which is another point to ponder before embarking on writing a blog.
8. A blog is none other than a type of diary, just like some of us may have had in the pre-technological era, the school friends diary, the travel diary, the work diary, etc., you may reiterate that some did eventually turn into famous literary works like “The Diary of Anne Frank” for example. So are you prepared to have your ‘diary’ opened on a public playing field, if not, then blogging is not for you.
There is one thing I’d like to say at this point ‘thank you to all the recipe bloggers’ ever since I discovered a taste for cooking I’ve delved into the labyrinths of the internet by reading and following many a recipe blogger picking up on a technique here and there, learning about food and wine in general. Not to mention eating better too!
The best thing about the internet is that it is like your own portable library (if you use it properly) of information always at hand either on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Thank you IT gods I couldn’t imagine living without a good connection or latest hand held device, where would I be – even my mother well into her 70’s uses a smartphone and tablet to send me VoIP messages or links to Google photo’s, my Dad is the ever Skype fan always (almost daily) using it to keep up with family across the globe. How would we connect without this modern technology, the old days are so far behind now there’s no turning back plus I wouldn’t want to either.
Back to the topic at hand, to Blog or not to Blog? that is the question! Obviously having just recently embarked on the road ‘to Blogging’ undoubtedly I will continue slugging on, slowly mulling over my words and thoughts so as not to invite unhealthy critical acclaim to my name. The Teacher as I have come to experience first-hand is somewhat the be all of the education system itself, running on their own merits and sometimes falling down incredibly hard but nonetheless remain mostly constant battlers for the main purpose of churning out bright young populations of students willing to continue on the path to learning skills for life.
Not an easy battle preparing young teens for learning in a moment of economic downturn, when entire families under the strain of the times often turn to the Teacher for help in the ‘moral education’ of their child. The job of the Teacher is to provide the right environment for learning, this does not mean preparing a room or choosing a book as some might think. But it really means getting into their student’s minds (in a sort of fashion) and helping them find their way around the learning jungle with the right tools to absorb, analyse, relate and eventually put to good use.

2014-09-02 21 59 52There is another interesting point to note that Blogs are also being used by Teachers to get their students to use blogging as a means of learning (like writing, reading critiques, communicating, team work, etc.) in a blended learning format as well by other Teachers to flip their classes. So the ever popular form of ‘to blog’ is encompassing a myriad of activities.

Hence will you too learn to blog and join in the blogging hemisphere unleashing your thoughts into an unharnessed wilderness of readers and followers sometimes commenting, oftentimes not. One other thing to bear in mind is the location of the blog and how to market your blog on the internet – these are issues that are also akin with professionals or companies selling their wares, a long long way from the bartering days I dare say!
Remember your blog writing is also normally enhanced by the social media sites too!
If I have not convinced you ‘to blog or not to blog’ yet, then do join a healthy and cheerful lot in the FALL BLOG FESTIVAL on WizIQ it’s free and packed full of experienced bloggers sharing their trials and tribulations of such a wonderful way to communicate…here’s the link: http://www.wiziq.com/course/53478-fall-blog-festival See you live in the Chat box!

2014-09-02 22 06 04

 

 

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Author: Nives Torresi

Nives Torresi is a Teacher of English as a foreign language; English Drama; Business English and English Exam Preparation (Cambridge FCE). Nives also translates from Italian to English (with a specialization in Business Manuals, Historical archives and Medical papers), works as Interpreter and Mediator for Business negotiations. Currently also teaches online via interactive learning platform for Business English courses and Language tutoring. Participates actively in online Teacher Training or development courses such as M4T Moodle for Teachers, Teaching with Technology, Learn to Blend and Flip with Technology, Action Research Projects to improve Instruction and Learning. Moderator in the Moodle courses for M4T EVO 15; M4T EVO 16 - TEFL2YL EVO 16 Recent online live webinar Presentations include: - The "One Foolish Monkey" series on History of Blogging with co-Teacher Tom Hodgers - CO15 - Connecting Online live Conference - "Understanding Pair Teaching in Micro Teaching Online" with Tom Hodgers. - Webinars for IATEFL YLT SIG: 2015 - "Play, Learn and Grow Together" an After school English language learning project. 2016 - "Play, Learn and Grow Together" a Pre-school English language learning project. - MM7 Moodle Mooc 7 by Integrating Technology - M4T moodle for teachers - Live Webinar presentation "Teaching and Learning Along the Way" November 16, 2015 - EFL Talks - Answers webinar February 20, 2016 "Using a Board Game in the EFL classroom" - EFL Talks - TERMS "PODCASTS" - MM9 co-Presenter with Thomas Hodgers "Teaching Online with Moodle" - MM9 Panelist on Digital Badges Discussion - HeartELT project - contributing author letter "W" - EVO Moderator Training 2014; 2015; 2016 - TEFL2YL EVO 2017 Session moderator and presenter "Board Games in the EFL Classroom" CO 17 Connecting Online live Conference Presenter with Tom Hodgers "Teamwork Online" Other projects include Business English Conversation; Business English for Managers; Business English for Engineers; Courses in digital format wholly online.

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