Well, the Masterclass session was very good with both Barbara Ganley and James Farmer offering me a lot of food for thought while at the same time confirming a lot of what I'd already thought or believed. But I'd have to say that the best part of the evening was the conversation afterwards with a few online names being matched to real life face to face personalities. My future co-presenter, Al Upton was there - good to see him taking advantage of the free wireless at EDC as well. Michael Coghlan, excellent as the moderator of the evening's proceedings, was another well known TALO identity that I had the pleasure of meeting thanks to Thangaes. (Thanks for your encouraging comments below my Masterclass Notes.) I met Mike Seyfang, of LearnDog fame (recently mentioned in Stephen Downes' OLDaily) and said g'day to Vonnie of South Oz E-Learning.
I enjoyed having the opportunity to pitch a question towards our guests but was blown away that James could recognise me as part of the pixelised audience on his Skype video. Anyway, here's the link to Barbara's presentation on her blog and Mike's take on the evening for good measure. I've been putting in my opinion in over at the Masterclass blog in the comments section where my position on teachers being bloggers first before imposing it on their students was put to the blowtorch. Annie Reid in the comments section of Why Blog? challenged my assertion (rightfully so):
One thing with which I didn’t concur - that teachers need to be bloggers themselves to have authenticity/credability with students. This might be all very well in pedagogical utopia but in the real world its not possible and it would be unfair to expect that teachers are aufait with a technology before they use it with students. We all know that there wouldn’t be a computer in schools if that were the premise on which we embark on innovation and change. Most of learn as we go, stumbling and lurching and we get there in the end. All hail those with balance in their lives!
After a few exchanges where I got on my "high horse" a bit, I could see where Annie was coming from except looking at her first comment I had overlooked the part where she referred to teachers blogging to have authenticity/credibility with kids. That certainly isn't my point of view at all - as an educator, my job has nothing to do with gathering "cred" with kids. I only wanted to urge teachers to blog for themselves first - any other edubloggers reading out there who want to tell me I'm wrong or back me up - but the true power of blogs can only be experienced by being in the mix. My parting point for this post is a quick sentence that sums my viewpoint.
Sure, craft a blog alongside of your kids but consider the possibility that there might something of immense value in it (blogging) for you as a professional and as a person.