It has been a great experience to build upon the knowledge I learnt from my second year module: Prison Voices. Although both modules have completely different agendas and the context of the two are poles apart they do have some similarities. Both modules required constant online attention such as tweeting, posting timely blogs, peer reviewing and continuous researching. Although this can be challenging at times it is extremely rewarding when you receive positive comments from the public as the large readership is overlooked.
I have been able to use the skills I have learnt both from this module and from my second year module by creating a reading club with High School pupils at Urmston Grammar school in Manchester. This has been extremely rewarding as I have been able to experience blogging from two sides: blogging for a website and also managing bloggers and a blog. Through this, I have learnt to coordinate and set up my own blog and website, putting my teaching skills to the test. This was something which interested institutions when going for my PGCE interviews. Before setting up this blog I had only really previously blogged for academic purposes. This module has really enhanced my blogging skills and I was able to pass on knowledge which I had acquired from this module to my Key Stage 3 and 4 students.
In terms of social media I had have never really understood the link between blogging and social media. However, I quickly realised the importance of following the correct people on Twitter to attract attention and getting your work retweeted meant more interest in your work. I also used Twitter to find similar author blogs to my own but also to read my peers’ work. Using Facebook for a more professional motive meant I was able to proofread other people’s work who are the module but also occasionally asking my peers who are unfamiliar with the module to test if they understood the blogs and to what extent I had generated interest. Most of the time I received constructive feedback which I took into account when writing my subsequent posts. The development and change in my blogging skills can be seen when comparing my very first blog post when writing for Prison Voices in comparison to my final post for Writing Lives. I am extremely proud of the advancement in my blogging skills.
Something I would advise future students of this module is to read their chosen memoirs once to understand what their author is about and again with the blog themes in mind. When reading the memoir make notes in places where the author makes references to any theme. This proved to be quite helpful as when I was writing each blog post I knew which pages and aspects of his life I could write about but also which themes he did not address.