Across the first ten-week period of my Media, Audience & Place subject students were encouraged to post relevant pieces that were connected to the topic/s covered each week. This meant listening, researching and learning the materials on our own terms. Putting the onus on the student to further develop their understanding on how different media has impacted our relationships and behaviours as audiences over the space of time. Too some, this seemed like an arduous task. Having to blog on a weekly basis doesn’t seem like a constructive way to learn the course material. However, I am a big advocate of the blogging component of the course. Not only does it motivate you to find further relevant sources to add to your arguments it forces you to give an opinion and be interested. For those who had previously completed other BCM subjects, the course at times and the topics did feel a little too familiar yet, as someone who learns through the power of repetition revisiting the issues of copyright and media technologies further broadened my opinion and scope on the issue. As blogging creates and facilitates student interaction through commenting, the help of my peers and their own opinions on each week’s topic/s further improved my knowledge.
As a collective it would be fair to say that the engagement between students throughout the blogging period would be considerably low. At the start of the subject many were tweeting and commenting on each other’s blogs, some at great length. Towards the end of the task, as work loads from other subjects increased and involvement dropped off, the commenting component of the course became less of a tool for further engaging in the materials and more of a weekly chore. However, there were some students that saw this as an opportunity to discuss their thoughts on each week’s topics and also deliver praise to those who put in the effort to keep up with the materials each week.
I will be the first to admit that each week I have sat at my desk, starring blankly into my computer screen wondering what to write about. Do I write something that has some relevance to the topic, yet takes another the issue in a different direction? Should I write something informational? Something witty? Eventually my fingers hit the keyboard and I have found myself in the ‘long tail’ of the Internet. Searching through countless stories, journal articles and literature all relevant to this week’s topic/s. This exploration of the Internet is what makes blogging so beneficial to the BCM experience. Blogging allows students the chance to incorporate their own ideas and lifestyle into the topics to further create an understanding of the course materials. From discussing relevant examples of media past and present, students are actively engaged and communicating their thoughts, opinions and personal experiences. As convergent media platforms such as WordPress allow our student blogs to be seen by global audiences, I was pleased to discover just how far and wide my thoughts and opinions had travelled across the globe.
After reviewing my blogging statistics I was personally surprised by the amount of global attention my blog had received from countries in both Asia and Europe. As much as I would like to contribute this to my writing style I am certain that it has to do with a few key blogging components such as tagging relevant topics and categorising the related posts.
The image above further proves that although many of believe that we are only writing these blogs to either assist other students or pass the subject, our posts, through the power of the Internet are being read in the homes, schools, workplaces and universities across the globe. As a mature age student, to think that two years ago I was stuck in my nine to five job, hatting my life and now not only do I have a collective of supportive peers contributing to my work, I also have have people engaging in my opinions from all corners of the globe [sight exaggeration].
After nine weeks of deciphering topics, talking to others in my life about their experiences with media and examining the role that media plays within my own life I have come up with this conclusion. No matter how much I think I may know about an issue or topic, I have barely scratched the surface. Media is such an intrinsic part of our lives that to try and define it in nine weeks seems almost laughable. As technologies advance and we continue through the information age the ways in which we develop, learn and interact with media are frequently changing. The need for greater understanding into the concepts and theories of media creation will always remain a constant and vital aspect to the future development of media practices.
2nd Year Media & Communication & Commerce Student @UOW
Majoring in Digital Communication & Marketing