When I started my doctoral program, I considered blogging a thing one did when one had little else to do. Blogs were for people who posted recipes or had grand adventures climbing mountains or traveling the world. Or it was for my teenage students, who all had Tumblr accounts. I was not one of these people. Thus, I did not blog.
During the first year of my doctoral program, my teacher friend started a blog with her colleague called The Paper Graders, an ironically-titled blog about many things educational, digital, and pedagogical. Intrigued by her decision to blog about her teaching experiences, I went looking for other teacher bloggers. I found communities of secondary teachers dedicated to the development of online spaces where they could voice their challenges, develop resource networks, and foster their own digital literacy learning. Since then, my research has revolved around teachers’ — specifically secondary English language arts teachers’ — digital practices, including how they develop and sustain digital literacies and how these literacies translate into and shape teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and practices.
And when I am not thinking about all of that and working on my dissertation… I’m blogging.
I now maintain my own blog, Gone Digital, where I reflect on my academic life and work. I am also a contributing author for GradHacker and the Rackham Graduate School blog. I have grown to love blogs and blogging over the past few years, perhaps because they offer a space to engage in academic conversation and debate without some of the pressure associated with peer review and journal submissions. Blogs, social media, and other online writing venues offer academics a space to play with ideas, connect with one another, and challenge our approaches to teaching and research, when we use them wisely and respectfully.
I am very excited to begin my work for Sweetland’s Digital Rhetoric Collaborative, where I will be expanding the reach of the DRC’s social media networks and organizing contributions to the DRC’s blog feed. We have already set up a Pinterest page — new to the DRC — which I am working on populating with useful (and, of course, entertaining) pins relevant to the fields of digital rhetoric, digital humanities, digital composition, and digital pedagogies… you get the idea. My fellow fellows and I are also brainstorming topics for our first blog theme, the call for which will appear shortly on the DRC blog feed — keep your eyes peeled!
Which is all to say, I hope you will like DRC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and let me or one of the other DRC fellows know if you would like to contribute a blog post to a DRC call. Thank you for reading!