Blogging and Students of Color and Culture
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
Department of Education and Urban Studies
“Instead of just teaching students of color and culture
how to use technology educators of technology must
also be responsible for teaching the morality and
ethics of using technology.”
Blogging allows and encourages the sharing of stories,
expression of ideas, collaboration of research, the
opportunity to increase reading and comprehension and
engages the mind in applying new strategies of thinking.
Blogging is about communication and the diversity of
connecting with thought leaders, content creators,
microbloggers, vbloggers, podcasters and the list
continues to grow as Social Media platforms expand.
The importance of content is seen as people consume
information that hopes to inspire and create a
reaction if at a minimum inspiring “thinking.” Blogging
and Students of Color can Culture need to understand
the value of their created content and be afforded the
opportunity to create positive and transformative
content that allows students the empowerment to
share their ideas.
Robert Benchley, a noted content creator states that,
“writing is not just saying something, it’s acquiring
a process by which to think about what to say.”
Students of Color and Culture have fantastic ideas, but
sometimes lack the skills to express them with written
and spoken words.
Social Media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,
and Tumbler do not offer specific writing guidelines,
they are platforms to share information. Twitter is a
publishing platform, but is limited to 140 characters.
Condensing the ability to share and extend points of
ideas which can be lost in translation and meaning.
The frequency of blogging allows for extending ideas
across a broad spectrum of platforms that encourages
engagement, this exposure to the diversity of thinking
can be helpful to students of color and culture because
they are not limited to their environmental conditions
or restrictions. One of the issues for students in
nations like China, North Korea, Cuba and other
non-democratic countries is that open dialogues are
restricted and limited. So thinking is confined,
limited, monitored and even manipulated. The Internet
is breaking barriers and allowing for the expansion of
“Thought Freedom,” so those nations like this nation
have opportunities of unique engagement.
The intention of “Thought Freedom” is not to create
dissension or even to promote civil unrest or open
conflict, but allow for the expansion of thinking and
embracing the diversity that the world is. To apply the
best of us to create better societies, communities,
neighborhoods and schools.
Students of color and culture are not traditionally
given opportunities to write/blog about their experiences,
sharing their thoughts and even reading others to
understand that thinking, rationalization, critical and
higher order thinking can be applied outside of the
classroom. Allowing imagination to build comprehension
to allow writing to expand from the mind to the computer
to application in life. Students of color and culture are
not lacking in many cases in the ability to read, the
challenge is the ability to comprehend information.
To read it, digest it and regurgitate it in a way
that explains what it is they read and how they can
HBCU’s have understood for years that achievement gaps
for students of color and culture, that is why they
offer remedial classes in writing/reading and mathematics.
The creativity process has not be challenged, engaged and
honed to handle the level of work in higher education.
HBCU’s gradually integrate writing, more are infusing
blogging as a way of allowing students to publish their
works and gain valuable feedback from peers and other
educators that may decide to follow them.
In my Educational Technology class, students are taught
the value of their content, the importance of telling
their own stories and shown why they need to be active,
engaged and participate in learning opportunities that
allow for networking and content sharing.
Students access YouTube videos to see how writing/blogging
is shared in the business world, global commerce, education
and even in the music industry. Social Media has greatly
influenced how society through mobile devices accesses
news and information and even how it is developed.
North Carolina Central University Chancellor Charlie
Nelms has stated about the importance of writing,
“We have to hold ourselves (HBCUs) to a higher level
of accountability, We have to reform gateway courses,
We have too many students who are not making through
their basic courses and they are not able to go
on to their majors.” This is not the faults of HBCUs,
but the lack of skills gained before students get to
these Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Students of color and culture must be provided the
opportunities that engage students in writing and
afford them the understanding of how important
and beneficial blogging is. They must be exposed
to other writers of color and culture. Schools
should not be afraid to expose all their students
to Black/African American, African, Hispanic,
Latino, Mexican, Native American, Haitian, Cuban
and other writers when teaching their students of
color and culture and even white the value of
writing and blogging.
Teachers do not have to feel they are experts in the
diversity of diverse writers, they have access to the
biggest and unlimited resource in history, the Internet.
Allow students to research writers/bloggers/content
creators and even podcasters. If teachers do not they
will be held accountable for limiting and even
restricting their students to still thinking in
a colonial and colonist way of life. Limiting
their thinking once again by a European mindset that
children of color and culture either do not deserve
to learn about the greatness of their culture and
the contributors or are still fearful of what will
happen as children of color and culture gain
intellectual freedoms to think on their own.
The National Commission on Writing for American Families,
Schools and Colleges has declared, writing skills need
to be improved if students are to succeed in school,
higher education, and life. Writing today is not a frill
for the few.
“Writing/blogging is an essential skill for those
of diversity of color and culture. Why let others
tell your stories, be empowered to
tell your own.” Wm Jackson, M.Ed.