Wednesday, August 15, 2018

We Talk About Blogging at Motithang School


It was a couple of weeks ago. It was at my home. And it was late night. Jambay Dorji, my next-door neighbor and also my fellow-village-folk, and I were talking about social media and how the Bhutanese behaved online. Indeed, online etiquette was a worrying, growing concern.

“The moment I log in on my Facebook account and scroll through the newsfeed, I see only negative stuff,” Jambay stated matter-of-factly.

I agreed with him.

Many of us spent hours on social media everyday but quite unfortunately we often misused social networking sites like Facebook and WeChat causing harms and disharmony in our society. Then we went on talking about how we can make use of social media and also make a living out of it.

“That’s what. Why can’t we focus our energy into making good use of social media rather than posting foul things?” I said.

The clock struck one in the morning and both of were feeling woozy, heavy sleep surfacing in our eyes. Then Jambay, a mathematic teacher at Motithang Higher Secondary School (MHSS), suddenly asked me, “Let’s do a programme at my school. I want you talk to the students and teachers on good use of social media.”

I didn't hesitate.

In a week’s time, Jambay arranged the programme at his school. Sherab Tenzin, a popular Bhutanese blogger, and Tshering Denkar, a solo travel blogger, have joined us. It was a successful programme. Over 400 students attended it and their response was awesome. We felt satisfied, happy. 
Picture: Bloggers with the students
Less than a week later, last Saturday, Jambay again arranged another session. This time, a group of thirty four students wanted to learn about blogging and content writing, specifically. We couldn't deny.

Sherab Tenzin presented on blogging practices around the world and in Bhutan and how to start a blog and factors to consider in starting a blog. His was a very humble, honest and very insightful presentation. But what caught the attention of the young learners was when he said that they could earn blogging and make a living out of it. In fact, Sherab himself earns quite a good amount of money from his blog. His blogging experience is hugely inspiring, as the students kept on nodding and taking notes.
 
Pic: Sherab Tenzin
His final message was, “It is better to monetize your blog and earn money rather than doing a job that pays you hardly anything.”

After that Tshering Denkar spoke on her experience as a full-time Bhutanese female solo travel blogger. Denkar blogs about her travel experience, local foods, hotels and photography. It was a lively presentation with amazing travel pictures, videos and intriguing personal stories.

Denkar said that travelling has helped her when she was going through difficult times in the past. “I love road and travelling to different places within Bhutan and meeting new people. That’s why the name of my blog is Denkars Getaway,” she stated.  
Picture: Tshering Denkar
“I am a solo traveller. I travel by passenger bus and also encourage budget travelling. I use my phone to take pictures and my tripod is my boyfriend,” Denkar said, her face brimming with enthusiasm.

And lastly I talked about my own blogging experience and photography. Most specifically, I taught the students how to write content on their blogs and also talked about the Community of Bhutanese Bloggers (CBB).
Pic: Me talking on CBB
Today, it’s heartening to see some of our students have created their own blogs and they are here: 1) Tashi's Photography 2) Unfold Bhutan and 3) Druk Writer. Similarly, I have received messages from some other students who are in the process of creating their own blogs.

That being said, our special acknowledgement to Mr. Jambay Dorji for going the extra mile by initiating this first of its kind programme at MHSS and creating a platform for us to impart our skills and knowledge to his students.

He stated, feeling delighted, “I only hope that we are preparing our children for opportunities and challenges of tomorrow. I advocate our children to participate in the digital-driven economy. Textbooks and classroom learning are not enough to address the real world problems.”

Pic: Jambay Dorji, the man behind the initiative

Indeed, undeniably, we should have more teachers like you, Sir!

We would also like to thank Madam Principal of MHSS for supporting this kind of initiative at the school and for her kind words for us.

And finally, we thank the enthusiastic students for your time and willingness to learn blogging. Best of luck in your future endeavours!

7 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us laa....

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    1. Nice meeting you, Dechen! I look forward to reading your blog.

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  2. Very happy to know about this, sir. It's really inspiring for young bloggers like us to have such motivating people like you all.
    Keep going great la.
    We are following you all.

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    1. Thanks a ton, Tshering Pelden! You are doing great job and I wish to see you flourishing into a great writer.

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  3. There is another genre in blogging that is hardly talked about or has surfaced to discussion in Bhutan. Because most Bhutanese bloggers are into creative writing or writing personal stories, it is highly likely that people misconstrue the purpose of blogging as just for creative writing and writing personal stories. In many parts of the world blogging is used more formally for academic purposes. Although blogging per se is an informal writing forum, some of them containing academic contents have become good sources of information, platform for genuine discussions and generating idea. Among Bhutanese bloggers, there are a handful of friends who feed their blog about their research activities. They share the findings, discuss research proposals, post abstracts and standalone literature reviews. Yet these posts are hardly talked about or read. Perhaps in such an advocacy program, it is important to let children know that blogging can also be used for academic purposes. Cheers!!

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    1. Mr. Tshewang, we talked about Edublogs to the students and how they are being done. As all of us are into creative writing, photography and travel blogging, we generally talked on these topics. Thank you so much for the information; next time onward, we would like to include more on blogs for academic purposes.

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