Four years ago this week, I imported my few posts from my old blog “Electrified Chalk“, and “Is this Going to Be on the Exam” was born.
138 139 posts later, it is still trundling along. There have been quiet times and active times, but on the whole, the act of keeping a blog has been very beneficial to me.
The main reason I encourage others to blog is personal: the act of writing out and constructing thoughts on a particular topic so that they may be understood by others is a difficult exercise that takes practice, especially if you are not used to writing. It’s a given (I hope) that a blog article is a first thought at something, and this means that not everything has to be worked out or concluded fully. This can take away some of the pressure of blogging. Nevertheless, the act of writing does help in teasing out understandings of whatever topic I am writing on. A good example is the post on “Constructivism in Chemistry” which now looks a little clunky to me. But the writing of that was an important step in building my understanding, and this probably represents my first attempt at grasping this concept seriously. I still read it fondly, because it took me ages to write!
The other benefit of the blog is interactions with a community of practitioners. As I attend conferences and engage with others in the chemistry education community, I feel that there is a good understanding of common interests and areas of disagreement which make for fruitful discussions and debates. On one level, this is an opportunity to showcase some things that I am doing, but I think it is much more valuable when the blog stimulates responses among those in the chemistry education community. Especially fruitful are responses that I don’t want to hear. While these may be initially dispiriting, whether you admit it or not, they force you to challenge your viewpoint, and refine it or defend it…!
Thanks to everyone who has tuned in over the last few years! Let’s keep the conversation going…