As I look at my growing list of draft posts (aka: best intentions upon self-reflection) I’ve come to the realisation that I’ve been talking the talk but not walking the walk lately!
It’s not that I haven’t been learning, discovering, teaching and learning some more over the past few years. It’s that I haven’t been reflecting – or should I say, I haven’t been documenting my learning and self-reflection. A recent conversation with my very good friend (and amazing educator -aka Langwitches) Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano made me reach down deep and really think about what’s been hindering my lack of documenting and self-reflection. I made a list:
1. Confidence Crisis
It’s not that I’m not confident doing/sharing something. It’s does anybody want to hear about it?
2. Backwards Writer’s Block
It’s not that I don’t know what to write about. It’s there’s so much to write about that I don’t know where to start!
When you transition from being the classroom teacher to being the coach who’s helping teachers you are often doing things that you’ve already written about before. It feels like you’re not doing anything innovative therefore it’s not worth sharing again.
4. Repetition Amplified
There’s so many great bloggers out there. They are doing the same things as me and writing so much better than I ever could.
Here’s where my a-ha moment kicked in! I began to question and challenge my thinking (self-reflection) on those three things.
Everything keeps coming back to purpose.
Why should it matter if nobody wants to hear what I have to say? Of course, I’d love to engage in conversation, be inspiring, and share my knowledge and understanding with others. At the end of the day though, what’s my purpose for writing down and reflecting on what I’m doing or learning? It’s ultimately for me. To document my ongoing learning and professional development journey.
What’s the purpose of all those drafts? They’re obviously things I thought were important enough to write down. Again, what’s the purpose of my blog – to document learning, experiences, and resources. As my friend Sheena would say, JFDI! Just flippin’ do it!
Does it really matter if it’s been done before? I’m often telling CoETaIL participants what might be old for you, may not be old for others – so share what you’re doing. Why am I not following that advice? What’s the purpose of my blog again? It’s a matter of perspective. Although I may have written about something from a classroom teacher perspective I should document it again from a coaches’ perspective. There will be subtle differences, I’m sure.
What’s the purpose of my blog again? To document learning – my learning. It’s a place for self-reflection. As I critically engage with media (reading, commenting, writing on blogs) my writing process can only improve. Does it really matter if someone else is writing about the same things? That’s not my learning is it? It might be part of my learning – as I may be inspired to share my own experiences with something. And my own experience might be different or I may have done something slightly different, or I may have even added to (amplified) someone else’s learning and re-shared. It’s all part of the blogging process and the part of the journey of blogging that has the potential to transform learning and teaching.
I know I am guilty of not doing the one thing that really helps makes your blog grow. Being consistent.
Silvia explains this really well in her blog post about consistency
Blogging is a process, not an event that happens as a culminating activity of a lesson or unit.
The realization and acceptance of blogging as a platform for learning AND as a process, brings in the component of CONSISTENCY.
Silvia goes on to explain that consistency helps establish trust. It builds a relationship with your readers and it helps build a loyal readership. Consistency also helps you experience the cognitive process of learning over a period of time.
Well, it’s time to make some changes to my routines. Time to become part of the conversation again and get on with a process that I whole-heartedly believe in. It is time to remember the purpose behind my blog and the reasons why it’s important to document learning. If I make it back into your RSS reader – that’s a bonus!
This post is written with a mix of sadness and excitement.
It is with sadness that I say goodbye to Edublogs but it is with excitement that I announce I’ve finally taken the plunge and bought my own domain name and am hosting my own blog using BlueHost and WordPress.
James Farmer and Sue Waters – you are two of the most generous, helpful and amazing people I have ever met in the blogosphere. You both are so generous with your time, your resources and your knowledge. Thanks to you both, I’ve not only been able to blog, but also I’ve been able to improve my blogging skills.
And of course to you, my faithfully readers, I extend my thanks. Thanks for dropping by to read my “goings on”. Thanks for all your comments and encouragement.
I’m hoping of course (fingers crossed) that you’ll update your RSS reader with the feed from my new blog.
Image Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernando/141222763/
Ding Ding … Round Course Two begins for CoETaIL.Asia and it’s all about our digital footprint.
- Online behaviors and actions impact the access and safety of personal information.
- Responsible use of online tools can help protect the personal information of others.
When and where should we be teaching students about their digital footprint?
Your Digital Footprint
This weeks readings were from Kim Komondo’s Your Online Reputation Can Hurt Your Job Search and Protect Your Digital Footprint from kutv.com
I was fortunate enough to have our afternoon presenter, Silvia Tolisano, stay with me after her presentation at ISB. We discussed in depth one night the need to own your domain name and those of your children. Thankfully my name and those of my children are unusual enough to still be available domain names.
What I have realised I need to do is take charge of my blog name so that I can continue to control what happens with it. I’d not really given any thought to what might happen if someone decided to “kick me off” my name. All my thoughts and ideas would disappear over time as someone began to use my name legally. Whilst I would like to believe that no-one would do that deliberately, I realise that not everyone is as idealistic in web ethics as I am.
Google Alerts, RSS feeds of Google Search Terms, Technorati and Edublogs’ incoming links have always kept me informed of how my digital footprint is impacting on others. I believe it is necessary to keep an eye on how and when our names are being used on the internet for a variety of reasons.
What Others Say
Clarence Fisher also believes that tracking your digital footprint is an essential part of working online and these are essential basic skills for us and for our students as well. His Digital Footprint blog post is an informative read as he shares how he tracks his digital footprint and the reasons why he does it.
It is great to see what people are writing about you. It gives you a chance to respond to posts people write and also it keeps your finger on the pulse of any ongoing conversations.”
I listened to Ewan McIntosh, at an unconference session at Learning2.0 in Shanghai, about how he has already begun to protect and nurture his young daughter’s digital footprint before she is even old enough to walk let alone blog! I remember thinking how that was just a little bit over-the-top. However, as my learning journey continues down the path of 21st Century Digital Literacy, it has become more obvious that looking after your digital footprint is the same as looking after any of your tools in your toolbox. It’s the same as looking after your own reputation. YOU need to do it – no one else is going to.
Online safety and digital citizenship in the classroom when working with blogs, wikis and any other tools that leave a footprint of ourselves online is a message that we, as educators, have a responsibility/need to continually push at ANY level. It’s no different to teaching encouraging students to respect themselves, or respect one another in any space they are in. Only this time the space is the internet. This space keeps a record of all behaviour. The good, the bad and the ugly. Plus anybody can look at it. Anytime. Anywhere.
Image Attribution: TeachingSagittarian