What does blogging teach?

Posted: November 8, 2008 in Food for thought
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I’ll be honest with you, I used to think that making students blog for a grade is a bad idea. I mean, making them put themselves out there?!

But then I realized that blogging is a necessity – and there’s no other way to learn it. Just like I teach news releases, I have to teach blogging. Just like students have to write news releases, they need to blog, too.

Some students might find out that they hate news releases. Others might find out they hate blogging. I say, it’s better to find out earlier rather than later, so they can adjust their career paths and expectations.

The semester’s coming to an end, and it all of a sudden dawned on me that blogging has taught my students some very important lessons, which will be useful even if they don’t choose to go into PR:

  • articulating thoughts and opinions
  • taking responsibility for thoughts and opinions by making them public
  • attributing ideas through linking
  • networking online, building relationships with like-minded people through commenting & linking

If you have tried blogging, can you tell me in the comments:

What has blogging taught you?

  1. esande says:

    I have to agree and say that I like that you made us create a blog Dr. V because before I had to blog, the word and idea of blogging was just one of those new techie terms and frankly I just thought it was a geeky or emo thing to do. Then I started writing one for class and began to look at other blogs and since then I have found the value and really appreciate the art of blogging!

  2. heathercurriewhiting says:

    As a PR student in Ottawa Canada – I agree with the value in having students blog. Not only for the writing practice – student’s really should be writing every chance they get – but for a couple of other reasons also.

    A) because it is up to the institution to introduce the students to this increasingly dominant aspect of PR – I think the speed inwhich social media is spreading has left a few PR programs without a chance to properly incorporate it into the curriculum
    B) It is valuable research experience. I would even consider adding a small research component asking students to gather x number of opinions on a trend, issue, or crisis
    C) it not only allows people to attribute through linking and express one’s own opinion, but also allows a student the opportunity to consider a post and expand on the original thought in his or her own blog. It is a form of critical-thinking to take an idea in a different direction. (at least I think so)

    I think it was a fine idea to encourage student blogging.

  3. Well I skimmed this post and then started to write a response, and then I went back and read it again and saw that the four bullets you had listed were… pretty much verbatim what I had typed. Ha. But what the hell, in my own words:

    Blogging and social media in general has taught me that I have a responsibility to share what I know, what I’ve read, what I’ve learned with others in the same way that students expect their professors to share the same with them. Web 2.0 has made us all instructors in our own right, if we choose to utilize it as such. It has also given us unlimited access to experts in every field.

    In the same way that we are given that ability to teach and share with others, we are also forced to be responsible for what we put out there. I’m probably not the BEST example of this — I’m pretty anti-censorship, as I’m sure you’ve seen — but people need to realize that what they say and how they say it can and will be read by lots of people.

  4. kaharris says:

    What has blogging taught me? Well, I feel like I have learned a lot. I have to be honest and say that originally at the beginning of the semester blogging for class was not appealing. I thought of it at first as a hassle and busy work that I just had to do. Now that the semester is coming to a close and I have had more time to learn about blogs and be active blogging and reading others, I feel differently.

    I think I was so apprehensive toward blogging at first because I had no experience with it previously. Now, even though I have found it difficult at times just to fully invest in my blog and blogging assignments, I have realized ways that I have benefited from it. I feel like your first point of articulating thoughts and opinions is true for me. Blogging has also made me more proactive in reading and writing for myself. Even though I find it time consuming, which is a challenge, I have realized that when I do put time into blogging that it is usually very helpful in my process of learning.

  5. […] >>>Comment on Dr. V’s blog post “What does blogging teach?”, November 8, 2008.<<< […]

  6. Katalyn says:

    As a PR student in a social media class, I was hesitant to blog. Not because this was a foreign idea to me but because I was being graded on my thoughts and opinions. However, blogging has been one of the most beneficial PR tools I have added to my tool box in a long time. I learned or better developed skills mentioned above as well as obtained a better knowledge of social networking and the importance of blogs.

    After interning at a PR agency this past summer, I realized the importance of blogs. However, no one thought like the bloggers since none of the individuals had a blog. Since starting “Here’s to Life…and No Regrets” (my blog), I feel I understand people in the blogosphere better and how to appeal to more audiences. I have also become even more outspoken than I was before, which I feel is great (others will disagree I’m sure). I feel that having a blog should be a requirement for all PR majors or minors, even for a quarter/semester.

  7. prprofmv says:

    Thank you so much for your comments. Your perspectives teach me how to be a better teacher.

  8. The main thing that I could add (of course to what everything else has been said) is that people actually blog-and for good reasons! I know that sounds so simple but before this class I thought blogs were for venting or personal communication between friends..Who would have known that blogs are meaningful, not only for corporate companies but for professors (aka Dr. V) and PR practitioners all across the world to communicate and exchange information and promote events. I think it is absolutely neat how blogs have been taken to a new level!

  9. […] November 12, 2008 November 12, 2008 Filed under: Comment — bcarsonclemson @ 3:43 pm Comment on Dr. V’s blog on “What Does Blogging Teach You.” […]

  10. amaute says:

    I feel like through blogging I have learned so much. Since I started my own blog I have subscribed to about 50 other blogs to read. Some are PR professionals that I have been introduced to through this class and Clemson PRSSA and others are students like myself. I feel that I would not have learned as much about PR, social media, online skills and much more if I were not engaged online. The social media world has been my teacher outside of class. I have learned so much from reading. This I feel is the most important lesson that someone interested in PR needs to learn: know your environment. READ, READ, and READ some more. Know what other people are talking about and care about. See what other people think and then respond to them on your blog. There really is no point in having a blog if no one is going to read what you have to say and no one will read what you have to say if you dont write about stuff that interests them. So, I feel like blogging has taught me to be aware of my surroundings and other people.