Oops, This Isn’t About Chemistry

Do forgive me, Ms. Smith!

Blogging is as natural to me as journal writing would be if I were born twenty years earlier, so the spotlight I’ve been put under after writing this guest post for Mr. Sheninger’s blog is very… humbling, and flustering!

I’d like to say thank you! It’s the only way I know how to react. No, really. I’ve been doing a lot of bowing and saying, “Thank you, thank you, thanks!”

And I mean it! I think it’s really cool that Ms. Smith and Mr. Sheninger gave me the opportunity to have my voice be heard, and that a lot of people are hearing it. Blogging has really benefitted me, so it’s exciting that I get to inspire others to try it!

I’ve also gotten a lot of questions, which I really want to answer well!

@ Robert Schuetz, who asked: What is your suggestion for getting more teachers and students actively involved in discussions such as these?

Teachers need to use technology in a way that’s natural for students, which does take some discussion.

For example, Ms. Smith decided to have us use Instagram instead of the more complicated Facebook to communicate and share in class, realizing that the Insta-hype is kind of overshadowing a lot of older social networks. That’s really cool of her! Since many of us already use Instagram, it’s not much harder to adjust for chemistry-related purposes. That’s good, because unnatural assignments would just defeat the purpose of trying to integrate social media in the first place. There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than when I see a student given such little freedom that what they publish online for class looks less like tweeting and blogging and more like… Nonfiction book reports.

How to get teachers and students more involved in these important discussions? I think that’s a question for Mr. Sheninger!

@ William Chamberlain, who asked:

  • How many of your friends regularly blog vs how many roll their eyes when you bring it up?
  • Have you encouraged others to successfully blog? If so, how and how many? This is very important because I have encouraged others with really limited success.
  • Do the kids that don’t normally blog like being made to blog or is there a lot of push back? I realize your high school is very encouraging of using tech in the learning space, does that seem to make it easier for them to accept?

Welp. I’ll be honest.

Whenever someone calls out at lunch, “Oh, did you remember to post to your chemistry blog this week?” They’re usually met with groans, moans, and “Oh, right! Yikes!”

And though I may have inspired around 10 of my peers to start their own personal blogs, (I love this video game blog started by a classmate and friend) well, even my enthusiasm can dwindle, and with it the frequency of regular posts. Maintaining a blog is hard! It requires dedication, imagination, motivation, and a lot of those kinds of -tion words.

You see, it’s a lot easier to tweet “lol my dog is a QT <3” than it is to really sit down and write a good 500 words on the topic. However, it’s also a lot less rewarding, especially in the long-run.

I think getting feedback is really important to staying motivated; I can imagine that encouraging peers to comment and interact with each others’ blogs would be very effective! New bloggers also need to learn the importance of using Tags and other methods of publicizing their posts.

And let me confirm: New Milford High School encourages “digital learning device” use, and it’s pretty awesome. Plus, I know WordPress and Google Drive have great apps on the App Store! Being able to write a blog post while in the lunch line definitely makes posting to my chemistry blog easier!

All you 21st century educators are über cool! Thank you again for all your positive feedback. I hope I answered your questions well, and feel free to ask more. In fact, I made a contact form for that purpose; whoa!

-Sarah

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4 thoughts on “Oops, This Isn’t About Chemistry

  1. Hi Sarah,

    Just wanted to say great job again.

    Glad you have found your passion in Blogging. Yes, expressing ourselves and ideas is a hard and difficult thing which is why it is such a groan and yuk event, but I am glad you have taken up the challenge! As you aware the next stage is the feedback and commenting stage. You are way ahead of the game.

    Keep up the great work!

    Ms. Smith

  2. I agree, it is hard to maintain a blog. I tend to write in spurts (the truth is I only write when I have to, when I can’t not write.) As much as I love to read, I prefer a narrative so even reading blog posts can get to be a bit boring.

    I can definitely confirm that creating an online community can really help inspire, I also know that being able to have conversations on Twitter can make writing blog posts less important. I think others have the same feeling since I have noticed that many of my friends that used to post often have slowed down.

    On a side note I found my great grandmother’s diaries from the sixties. All I remember about her was she was mean and would curse at me in Gaelic. Reading through her diaries gave me the opportunity I didn’t have before, to get to know her through her own voice. I suspect that for whatever other reason we write we can be happy that we are leaving a record behind for our progeny.

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