This post's title refers to a slogan from a non-alcoholic drink called Clayton's, on sale in Australia quite a few years ago that was marketed as "the drink you have when you are not having a drink". So in Aussie vernacular, a Clayton's is anything that isn't quite genuine, not quite what it looks like, that doesn't quite fit the normal expectation. So, this post is lacking a cohesive theme and is a few ideas cobbled together I want to get online. It's a bit of a Clayton's.
I've been tossing a few ideas around in my mind over the past week or two in relation to spreading the word about blogging and the benefits that it can bring. I'd already flagged this idea earlier arising from a conversation during a break during the Prensky seminar with Bill Kerr and Al Upton, and hinted at in a comment to Darren Kuropatwa's A Difference. So, hopefully, this trio will be putting on a presentation at the annual CEGSA conference that should spread the good word about blogging and its potential for education.
I was heartened by a reaction to my blogging efforts on Thursday at the first preliminary meeting for our IWB research partnership with Flinders University. I have had the feeling that my blogging talk around the staff room was being viewed as being a bit lightweight and bit pointless based on some comments and jokes from my colleagues. But our contact from the Uni (who also warned against putting my colleagues' own exploits online unless I have sought their permission because it could be construed as being pushy and intimidatory) saw my documentation of our IWB program on our Activboarding blog as being a really powerful way of recording the journey of our school's foray. I just have to be encouraging, not disparaging, of other teachers and think of myself as blogging on their behalf. I suppose that's why my own blog is really important as my own professional outlet - and why I tend to write on Activboarding in a more general, almost detached style.
So, with a gentler approach to my colleagues in mind, I will point interested parties towards my learning team's new wiki. We are starting to get our ideas together for our presentation for the Middle Schooling Conference and I thought that we could gather all our bits and pieces there in one spot where we could all contribute and watch it grow. It could also potentially be a great resource for anyone who chooses to attend or hear our story when it is all complete. Drop by, because starting with the end in mind, I've drafted some questions we need to consider before putting our presentation together. If you were coming to see a presentation titled Engaging The Digital Native – Use Of New Technologies In The Middle School Classroom, what would you expect to see?
So, I haven't quite been suffering from blogger's block - more like blogger's hesitation. I've started two posts that have been deleted. One bit the dust because it was a bit too political in nature and I don't want to take a position I can't back away from if I get shown to be lacking in my research and the other just was pathetic and just creating a post for the sake of it. Part of the reason is trying to keep up with the reading pouring out of my Bloglines. So, I've spent a fair bit of time commenting on other blogs during the week because that was easier than trying to craft something of my own. And every time I thought here's someone's great post that I could highlight and reflect on, someone else had beaten me to it. Leigh's great post on being the new kid in town hit a nerve but by the time I was ready to blog about it, Miguel had already responded. I settled for a comment instead.
Update: Bill is unavailable for the presentation (but gives it his blessing), so hopefully Al is still on. Watch this space.
not certain what you mean by one of your deleted posts being “too political”
I think it’s possible to phrase political posts as interrogations without being too dogmatic – just raise the questions with an expressed tentative conclusiong for comment or discussion
we live in a democracy, i’ve heard 🙂
I believe that blogging itself is political because it impacts on the balance of power, that every individual has their own printing press will have very significant implications – also I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers are looking for change, for reform – I think maybe that’s a strong motivator to keep blogging, to make your voice heard or to feel that it is being heard
school based comment is more dangerous IMO – my policy is to steer clear of school based comment because of its potential to create bad feeling (except for positive school based comment)
Bill, I understand what you are saying so I suppose I am shying away from saying something that is so blatantly on the political education agenda. I could rephrase it so it isn’t my stated opinion as you suggest but that would have involved more work than I could be bothered with at the present moment! I hear what you are saying about school based comment. It probably is dangerous occasionally to “let off steam” in a public forum about a small community as it doesn’t take much for an insider from my school to see between the lines – I’d have to go back to my previous posts to see if I’ve got too close for comfort on occasions. It is sound counsel.