It feels like ages since I've blogged and even longer since I've blogged anything worthwhile. Of course, the longer I leave writing here, the more the self doubt sets in and makes me wonder if I have anything worthy of pushing out to say. So, the counteractive cure to that is put up a grandiose title and have a bit of at length pontification about the current state of play in the edtech world.
I'm sick of Windows' complete vulnerability to trojans, worms and other nasties especially when I'm trying to get mid year reports written on my school XP laptop. Files don't play nice across platforms so doing it all on my favourite MacBook Pro wasn't really an option. Interestingly, I can plug in a USB flashdrive into the Mac and see all these weirdly named folders (Kalba, Doda, Gravity etc.) that I just know shouldn't be there but the Mac won't let me delete them. Plug it back into the XP laptop and they become invisible but the crazy stuff happens then. I have found that I can plug in, see and delete these nasties in my son's Ubuntu netbook. Another win for Open Source, I suppose.
I got another invitation in my inbox to be on one of those Top 100 Edublogs lists that seem to be all the rage. What disinterests me is how many policy, corporate and cause based blogs keep making those lists. I'm only interested in reading edubloggers who write for themselves, that are identifiable individuals with clear personalities and quirks - now that's a list I'd be honoured to be on. I find it hard to take sites that call themselves onlinedegrees or onlinembas seriously, especially when the internet is a great conduit for learners who don't want to follow a traditional credentialling process. Give me an empassioned teacher breaking free of the confines of their classroom over some politically driven ISTE-style bandwagon hopper. Jose sums it up better than I can anyway.
While I've been looking at how one might go about setting up, fund and implementing a 1:1 laptop program, David Truss has introduced a new concept that really resonates - the BYO laptop program. Not sure how it would fly in Australian government schools with the bureaucratic need to cover liability but it is worth considering. And I'm beginning to warm to the idea of iPads in the classroom, especially in the younger years.
Meh.. not really much to say. But it's a start. I'll see what gets my brain churning next.
Matthew K. Tabor
Glad to see you’re back in the saddle!
An interesting point about “worthwhile” blogging – when you do it, it’s worthwhile, and when you don’t, a lively discussion usually turns it into a worthwhile exercise.
I don’t know how many times I’ve written posts that were incomplete or lacking in some way – breadth of analysis, detail, etc. And whenever I do that, someone is there to say, “But what about ___?” or “When you consider…” – or any of a host of extensions.
I think it’s better when the poster/author does the heavy lifting – that frees up readers and the community to discuss the finer points of a piece. But when we don’t? The community seems to drag us into worthwhile territory anyway.
I was on a blogging high with 16 posts in 3 months then June came along! I can’t post for the sake of posting and have had difficulty finding the time to express some of the lengthy ideas in my blogging mind. It’s often hard to keep to the ‘worthwhile’ ideas.
Yesterday I commented here and the (hidden)anti-spam rejected my comment. Frustrating! But… that, along with your worthy post, inspired me to write a post I’ve had ruminating in me since April http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/congratulations-on-being-duped/ Thanks for the inspiration! I have a rather negative perspective on some of the Top 100 Edublogs lists I’ve been seeing and have been invited to join.
I’m impressed with how many educators are sharing their laptop program ideas and resources and I will be busy this summer setting things up. I wish you the best of luck getting a laptop program up and running.
@Matthew. Thanks for the encouragement, mate! I am always surprised (pleasantly) by the wide variety of people who read my blog and appreciate the pointers to reviving the blogging bug.
@David. I’m trying hard not to be duped – in the past, I’ve been as fallible as anyone with the mention of my blog in these lists being a bit of an ego massage. But I’m blogging looking for something more substantial than that and comments from other educators like Matthew or yourself are all the recognition that I actually need.
Short Notes: The Definition of “School” Is a Toss-Up — The Jose Vilson
Susan Carter Morgan
Hey Graham, I relate to what you are saying…
I guess part of my disconnect is that I’ve been teaching (and blogging) for a long time. I find value in people’s thoughts that are original and personal–not just out for themselves. Some days I want to turn it all off, and then I realize this open space will be what saves us. Your recent post about ISTE also resonates…for many reasons. I didn’t go this year, and although I missed seeing some people face to face, I also read the blogs and tweets I wanted to read.. all from a distance. So, I keep at it. And I hope you will too.
It’s weird that disconnecting can make me feel almost, um, guilty! I’m not going to my local edtech conference (started today) and part of me feels disloyal about it, as if I’m deliberately withholding my participation or practicing some form of conference snobbery. But going bowling and out to lunch with the family has blown away those thoughts.
Is blogging for five years a long time? Yes, I will keep at it, for sure. I can’t imagine giving it up now but sometimes straining for things to write is like wringing out a dry towel. So I am learning the art of patience, waiting for my blogging muse to come to me.