I want to be a blogger. I want to write things that people are interested in reading. I lack the discipline to publish on a regular basis. I wish I could do it!
I was updating my WordPress site on Saturday morning and I was thinking to myself, ‘I really need to blog more’. I started thinking about why I blog. I always hoped it would be a time of reflecting and sharing.
I do occasionally blog. I interview interesting educators and post the podcasts. I post ‘how-to’s’ for things I have found useful in the classroom or at home. I sometimes write reflective pieces and share my thinking. It is this last point I want to further develop.
When I read blogs by George Couros, Seth Godin, Mark Carbone, Vicki Davis, or Tim King. I appreciate the thought and effort they put into their posts and how they share their thoughtful reflections. These are the bloggers I would like to emulate so that I can become a better blogger.
So how did we get here today? Another great blogger, Donna Fry, saw my blog post on Saturday and we started an exchange of ideas on Twitter. Next thing I know, I accepted Donna’s challenge and posted on Twitter that I would be blogging 5 posts over the next 5 days as a way to jumpstart my writing. A hashtag was born (#5posts5days) and this is my first instalment.
If you are like me and find it difficult to attempt a 30 day challenge and wish you blogged more, join me on this challenge and blog for the next 5 days and see if that gets you reflecting and writing.
One more thing, leave your name, blog site, and Twitter handle in the comments so we can follow you.
I know that blogging is a powerful tool in developing your writing skills, to share information, to process and develop your thoughts, but why do I keep falling off the blogging wagon?
Yes, as a teacher my life is busy and I have many outside interests to eat up my time. But, I want to be a blogger. That is why I have decided to challenge myself. Instead of trying to blog for 30 days straight, I am going to try a more manageable task. Starting Monday, I am going to blog every day for 5 days. That’s right, from Monday to Friday next week. If I can do this I will try to set up a regular schedule that fits into my routine.
The next question, what will I blog about? Truth is I don’t know. It will be education related and likely have an EdTech angle. I just hope you are there to see how this experiment goes.
Over the Christmas Holidays, I had a chance to travel to London, Ontario to enjoy a Brunch hosted by David Carruthers (@pluggedportable) who is a Technology Coordinator with the TVDSB.
During that time we shared some excellent food and conversation. This is the first in a series of interviews with some of the inspirational educators in which I had an opportunity to speak with. In this interview David discusses the power of Social Media.
It got me thinking about changes in “edtech”. Over the past decade I have attending various conferences and I have noticed a steady change in the content of the presentations. What I am most impressed by is how educators who have embrace “edtech” have moved away from gadgets and doodads and have shifted to looking at technology to innovate education. In other words, my colleagues are not just looking for the next shiny new tool to try out. Instead, they are trying to improve their teaching by taking a pedagogical sound approach to learning. Only then are they trying to find the right “edtech” tool to enhance the experience for students. Sometimes the tool might be a new mobile app, while at other times, it is the use of coloured pencils and chart paper.
To me it looks like teachers are moving away from the shiny new gadget and are instead looking at these tools with the same critical eye we look at chalk or whiteboard markers. The questions about “edtech” tools have also changed from, “How do I fit this into my lesson?” to “Will this help my student to learn?” It is becoming less about the “latest and greatest” and more about how “edtech” enhances the learning experience.
Back to conferences. I have really notice a shift here in Ontario. At a recent conference, the majority of the sessions I attended where facilitated by Ontario educators for whom the pedagogy came first. As the sessions progressed, the “edtech” was demonstrated and explained to the audience while at the same time continually tied back to sound pedagogy. At the same conference I was left feeling puzzled at the end of a keynote that mostly consisted of a list of “edtech” tools. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have done these same presentations, but that was almost a decade ago when “edtech” was still in its infancy. I did not expect it from high profile speakers.
I continue to be amazed at the quality of speakers at Ontario education conferences. Congratulations to all the Ontario educators out there who are modernizing student learning from a factory model to a problem solving model that is more inline with a technological age. I look forward to learning from you at the next conference.