In Christopher Sessums writing on Cultural Implications of Social Software: Teaching and Learning, he talks about the three C’s – comfort, confidence and creativity being crucial to teachers taking on social software as part of their toolbox. In my graduate studies work this year, I have decided to study new literacies. One part of this study is exploring the world of blogs and blogging. Thus you have this blog on your screen and I have been working at understanding the language, the community and the identity for a member of the blogging world. I agree with Christopher on these three factors which inhibit the effective integration of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) by teachers. I am affirmed in my recognition of the importance of identity in developing competence in a new area. This exploration of new literacy requires that I take on new identity – a confident identity with respect to technologies. In this regard, I disagree with Christopher’s assessment of the three areas to be addressed. Teachers need first to have confidence and then to develop comfort. A strange paradox – in order to have competence, you must first have the confidence that you can be successful, even before you try! It is past success using other applications which allows me to even approach new technologies and new literacies. I know I can effectively use word processing software, power point software, emailing, online databases. I have the confidence to start to blog. It’s just a word processor that publishes, right? I need the confidence that I will have something to say and that others will want to read it. I am aware of the sense of audience that is inherent in blogging. I am more aware of my identity as “writer”. I am keenly aware of my need to spell correctly and type accurately. I am excited about the possibilities of blogging for my students and my teaching colleagues as I hope to empower teachers to use these tools.
Thanks for the tips and the confirmation, Christopher. Congratulations on your blogging award.