Part #4: Blogger of the Week Reflection

How often did you participate?

  1. Child Vaccination – Do or Don’t?  By Trent A.
  2. The water and sanitation crisis By Kissmuth K.
  3. Should 16 years olds be able to Vote in Canada? By Najib H.
  4. Nuclear Throne, and what makes a video game fun By Thomas P.
  5. Is School Stressing You Out? By Adam S.
  6. Male infertility vs. Female infertility By Aisha T.
  7. In A New The water and sanitation crisis World By Brianna G.
  8. Extremophiles and How They Can Help By Cameron H.
  9. Sinkholes By Esther Y.
  10. Is Organic Farming Really Better? By Jaimee P.
  11. Freedom? To An Extent… By Liam M.
  12. Concussions in Contact Sports By Nilsu E.
  13. Global Warming: Causes, Effects, And The Highly Motivated High School Solution By Sebastian M.
  14. Why You Should Start Reading By Alex E.
  15. Robots or Kids? By Rauwn S.
  16. The Positive Impacts of Technology on Healthcare By Mahruf K.

some examples of non-blogger of the week posts I commented on were (What  could find)

Why Boom Beach is Superior over Clash of Clans By Najib H

My bucket list By Kissmuth K

Please provide a rating for YOUR overall contributions to discussions [1(poor) – 5 (excellent)]: 4.5

postI chose this rating for myself because I feel I contributed greatly to the blogger of the week posts. I did not comment simply because I needed to, I only posted when I could contribute to the conversation. When I commented I tried to be in depth, for example this comment on Liam’s blogger of the week: Freedom? To An Extent…

I also made a response to every comment made on my own blogger of the week, with considerable detail. I even link to images, videos, or other blogs that are relevant to the conversation. For example, my comment on Cameron’s Blog: Extremophiles and How They Can Help. I also often finished my comments with questions, to encourage conversation. Finally, I commented on non-blogger of the week posts as well (although I could only find two examples)

CONTENT

1. Is there some aspect of the topic, results, conclusions, or concepts for which you gained a deeper understanding of through the blog discussion? Was there some aspect of the posts you explored that you had not thought of or that you ‘learned’ about from the discussion? In other words, what aspect of the post was clarified or illuminated as a result of the blog discussion?

Yes absolutely, often when I’m confused about a point or have a question for the author, I can ask directly in the comments. The discussion below the posts is , in my opinion, the greatest advantage of the blog over physically handing things in. If I don’t follow their train of thought or have a recommendation for their post, I can address them there. A good example of this was comments in Mahruf’s The Positive Impacts of Technology on Healthcare. after reading his post, I was curious about a counter argument and how technology could negativity effect the medical field. I addressed it in a recommendation, but his response spurred conversation between various readers. I learned more about what he chose to keep in and what he removed and why. I also learned more about the negative potential of tech in medicine as well. I also feel the discussion helped illuminate these things for Mahruf as well. As a result of our conversation he altered his post to include some points addressing the negative aspects, such as distraction in medical professionals. Overall, both Mahruf and I’s understanding of tech in medicine was broadened by the conversation, We learned more about potential disadvantages and learned to look at the situation more carefully.

2. Were there aspects of the discussions that led to more confusion for you compared to when you read the blog post alone? Was the confusion resolved through discussion? Please explain (make specific reference to the blogs involved ­ direct quotations may be appropriate ­ reference the author).

Occasionally, I’d see a comment that did not make sense to me or I didn’t quite follow. For example, In Kissmuth’s The water and sanitation crisis I didn’t understand what point Ron was trying to make about generalization in her post. However, overall comments never made the post itself more confusing for me. I did try to clear up confusion in the comments when I could, particularly in my own comments on my blogger of the week. A good example of this Alex’s comment wondering how a colony on Venus could help us on earth. I tried to clear things up when I could, but for me personnally, the comments were much more helpful then harmful, I never felt more confused leaving the comments, then when I entered.

DISCUSSION SKILLS

3. Evaluate your role in the Blogger of the Week discussions, in particular please answer the following two questions: What did you do that was effective at contributing to the discussion(s)? Be specific (adding screenshots of your contributing or copying to your blog may be appropriate). What areas do you need improvement in?

I was very effective in contributing the comments in my blogger of the week. I added the following questions to the end of my post to encourage conversation.

Do you think we should focus colonization efforts on Mars or Venus? Why or why not?

What are some other options for space colonization I chose not to mention in this article?

Are you for or against space colonization? Why?

I also responded to every comment in the discussion section, and tried to keep the conversation going by ending my responses with questions. My favorite example of this is my conversation with Jeremy in the comments. I also linked to other blogs such as Cameron’s Extremophiles and How They Can Help and my new post why space travel is worth it! I also linked to things in the comments in my posts and on other posts. A couple of good examples are my response to Alex on my blogger of the week, and my comment on Sebastian’s post Global Warming: Causes, Effects, And The Highly Motivated High School Solution, both of which I linked to external sources to encourage conversation and offer more info.

I could have tried to comment more in general and try to respond even more in posts on other blogs.

4. Can you think of a contribution from another student that stood out in your mind that helped move the discussion along or help the class to move to a deeper understanding of the material? What did the student do? (no need to mention names, just describe what the students did or said).

One student was very unclear about the overall topic and another student stepped in to explain. It was not even there post, they just wanted to keep the conversation going and to help someone understand. When the original commented was still unclear, the other student responded again to help them get the point. This student was really dedicated to getting them to understand.

5. Do you have any recommendations to the class as a whole to improve class discussions? How are discussions different in an online space versus those held face­to­face? How are they similar?

I think, in general people needed to comment more, and not just abandon their comment once its posted. We need to encourage our classmates to return to the post later to check for responses and respond themselves. Overall, people seemed to lose interest as the year progressed. They should be encouraged to continue commenting all year round.

6. What are your overall thoughts of the Blogger of the Week assignment? Do you have any suggestions for me moving forward to either: a) improve the assignment; or b) revise the structure, delivery, or scheduling of the assignment itself? Be specific as your opinions will be very helpful for me as I plan for future classes.

I really enjoyed the blogger of the week assignments. I thought they were intriguing and real created a lot of conversation. What I’d recommend is trying to keep the schedule on track. Some students ended up going months after they were supposed to, and threw the schedule off track. The deadlines should have been better enforced to keep the flow of bloggers of the week running smoothly.

 

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