Having the blog be the primary way to communicate, outside of class, was a different experience than I’m used to. I’ve never had to write for a “broader audience,” and I think I grew accustomed to it. With that said, I definitely think I wrote in a way knowing that other people than the professor would/could be possibly reading my reviews. I was thinking of what I’d be writing, during the different readings, and felt like I almost came more prepared in terms of structuring my thoughts simply because of the public nature of the posts.
I agree with some of the other posts that say it gave the people who don’t talk as much an outlet to express themselves, as I am definitely in that group. I have always been able to express myself better in writing, and when I have time to lay out my views. The blog (along with papers) allow me to do that, and in the blogs case, frequently. I believe it was a great way to have everyone share their opinions on the books, in an open forum. I would read the other students stories as I could, but I do wish I had more time to comment on them, as there are some amazing writers in this class!
I also concur that having the blog made me more interested in news stories, current events, and articles regarding climate change etc. Things I might not have paid as much attention to if I was just reading to “read.” Having the blog so easily accessible made me more apt to post an article that I found particularly interesting, funny or relevant. That part was very enjoyable, and I enjoyed when other students would post articles as well, as I got very interested in the topic over the course of the semester.