Student Blogging in Arts & Humanities

| December 15, 2010

Do you have something to say? Do you want to be part of a growing and vibrant conversation here at TC and on the Web? Interested in getting practice publishing to the world-wide-web, and developing a body of work to show to others?

Welcome to Pressible!

Pressible is a super easy to use blogging platform specifically designed to foster scholarly dialogue. It is being developed by EdLab, here at our very own TC, and they’ve worked hard to do the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is generate the content. As a student you just have to do is sign up and get started. (The link is at the top of this page.) Create a personal blog, or get a group of friends together to blog on something of mutual interest. You can create as many blogs as you would like.

The Department of Arts & Humanities is very excited about Pressible. You are already on the Department’s Pressible Blog, and our Academic Programs are also beginning to use it, both as a way of sharing program information and keeping the dialogue going. Start your own individual or group blog, and join in!

Here are some ideas for ways to use your new blog:

  • As a running journal of your experience here at TC.
  • As a way to quickly and easily publish work that you have done. Share it with the community. Did you write a paper? Why not share parts of it, or write an abstract so people know what you are working on.
  • Did you read an interesting article, watch a video, or find some other online content? Share it with your colleagues! It is simple to embed content.
  • Are you presenting at a conference, giving a performance, or having an exhibition? Let people know.
  • Thoughts from a class? Put them up there…
  • Share a quote from a book you are reading. Maybe add some commentary…
  • Or write up a book review.
  • Is there something you have been wondering about? Ask a question…
  • Do you have an interest in a specific topic? Use a blog as your platform. Or get a group of people together and form an online community, or an e-Journal.
  • Create an online CV or Portfolio of your work for potential employers. (Use Pressible’s Page function!)

And here are a few examples of Student Sites:

  • Splitting Skulls — A personal site by Chris Moffett (that’s me) on Philosophy and Education.
  • Deixim li — A showcase of projects.
  • Edutecture — A group site, looking at the intersection of Architecture and Education.
  • It’s English — Meditations on “it” from an English Ed student.

Now it’s time to start your own. Once you put up some content, let us know. We’ll feature it here, on the Department site.

Some actions to get you started:

  • You’ll want a catchy title. Such as your own name, or something that reflects what you intend to write about. Put some thought into it.
  • Once you’ve got a title, go ahead and create the site. Just click on the “Join Pressible” button at the top of this page.
  • Then you’ll want to do some housekeeping. First, update how your name displays next to posts. Go to your dashboard, and under Users, change the “Display Name Publicly as” to whatever you would like.
  • While you are there, you can tell your (short) story in the Bio section. This will let people know who you are wherever you post or comment in the Pressible world.
  • And while you are thinking about your story, you might as well update your “About” page. This displays in the navigation at the top of your blog, letting people know, uhm, what you are about. Just show them what to expect from this particular blog. Make it interesting! (Go to Pages, and edit the About page.)
  • Now, test out the interface by making an introduction post! Pressible will already have created a “Hello World” post for you. You can practice by either editing that post, or try deleting it, and creating a new one. You’ll get the hang of the interface pretty quickly just by poking around. For this first post, try saying one more time, and with feeling, what you were saying in your About page.
  • Read the Pressible FAQ to help get you further oriented. You might also want to poke around the web, and read up on getting started in blogging.

Now here is the big one: blogging is a habit. You have to cultivate it. Get a bunch of different posts up quickly, and get a feel for it. Brainstorm 5-7 posts that are sitting in your head already. Do it now. And then just start getting them out there. (Pressible makes it easy to save drafts, and to queue up posts so you can spread out the publishing once they are done.)

Check the list of ideas above for some ideas. And here are a few more…

  • Think about regularly occurring events, or ideas you would like to follow up on, and create a series. (I’ve been doing a series of “Book Reviews of Books I Haven’t Finished Yet,” for example.) And then get in the habit of writing something for it consistently.
  • Publish something fun and quick. A video you found, or a quote. Or a thought that would normally have gone on Facebook…
  • Read other blogs on Pressible, and use the Repost feature to add it to your site, with a few words of introduction or commentary.
  • Brainstorm what you do already for ways you could leverage it with Pressible. Blogging should fit in with what you are up to, not distract from it. What are you up to?

OK, now go for it.

If you haven’t already, just click on the “Join Pressible” button at the top of this page and get started…