Blogs – What are They Good For?

A post by a friend and fellow EDC3100er, Simon, got me thinking about our blogs that we have all been writing for what seems like a lifetime now (I am not being derogatory – I just lose track of time when doing uni studies). Now Simon was querying

“to what depth are all of these blogs being punched out each week achieving? Does anyone recall or can they pinpoint a specific element of more than a couple of their blogs that has impacted them in any way that carries forward any ‘use’ whatsoever?”

and I would have to say I agree with him. Personally, throughout the blogging process, I have thought some of my own posts lacked the substance I have would have liked to achieve but can see several reasons for it:

– it is something I have never done or even considered before

– I am not an expert in any specific educational context (yet 😉 )

– the constraints of our blog post requirements (subject, length, links, etc)

– the number of blog posts required alongside other course/s work

However, the things I have learnt along the way from my own blogging are:

– it is something I may consider to do in the future if I feel confident enough in my personal knowledge on a topic to freely impart regular words of wisdom

– there are a lot of experts out there to follow and glean relevant information from (although you do have to be discerning)

– other points of view  that I hadn’t considered on a topic

– sharing information can be good (I’m getting so much better at this thing called ‘collaborating’)

– my personal learning network amongst fellow uni students has expanded

I guess our blogs have been about the journey and not the destination.

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Blogs – What are They Good For?

Sir Ken, Again

Today in my newsfeed on Facebook I read another interesting article by my favourite educator, Sir Ken Robinson. The article is an extract from his latest book, Creative Schools, and, despite the fact that it is in an American context, it has a universal theme. He states, when referring to vocational courses and careers, that, “Viewing vocational programs as second-rate is one of the most corrosive problems in education“. He is encouraging of all schools placing emphasis back on ‘shop’ courses as “There’s plenty of work to be done, but too many people lack the skills to do it”. 

Rather than some form of inverted snobbery, Sir Ken Robinson seems to genuinely value the diversity of interests and abilities of individuals and rightly recognises that academia is not the only career option we should be encouraging for our young people.

The work of electricians, builders, plumbers, chefs, paramedics, carpenters, mechanics, engineers, security staff, and all the rest is absolutely vital to the quality of each of our lives

Three cheers for our tradies! (I may or may not be just a little bit biased).

 

 

 

Sir Ken, Again

It’s All About Balance

I had a smile to myself Monday morning when, within the first 10 minutes of prac, the IWB wouldn’t work for the teacher. (You can see a post I have previously written about having a plan B here). Anyway, my very experienced and professional mentor didn’t miss a beat and soon had the class organised around her laptop for viewing – not ideal, but good improvisation. This brings me to a post  , “What does it matter about ICT if you don’t have great Behaviour Management?“, by Sandra. A great planned ICT lesson without good behaviour management skills or working ICTs ends up not being a great lesson after all – the same applies to any lesson. So, a good educator needs to be more than proficient across a myriad of skills and have an ability to  juggle them simultaneously. It’s all about the balance.

It’s All About Balance

Dear Blog

Unknown

Dear Blog,

It’s been a while now and it’s been fun but, after thirty posts, I feel we need to cool things a little. You see, I have other commitments that require my attention also, especially now that I am on prac. Sure, I’ll still write occasionally, but I might write about other topics and link to others who I want to link to. I’m just not sure how I feel at the moment.

Yours Sincerely,

Jenny

(This is all tongue-in-cheek and based upon a Dear John letter for those of you a lot younger than me).

Dear Blog

The Day That Was

Yesterday Amanda wrote a post outlining her strengths and weaknesses and I thought it was brave of her to tell us her (perceived) shortcomings. I began to reflect upon my own shortcomings and drew up a mental list. At the top of the list was my lack of confidence (I never, not once, ever raised my hand in class to ask a question when at school due to shyness). However, today I remembered some advice from my very first Studydesk forum that ,”The only silly question is the one you don’t ask”. So, I asked away and then some. My mentor didn’t laugh, the floor didn’t swallow me up. I felt my confidence rise today ever so slightly.

The Day That Was

Yes, Another Resource

I meet my mentor and find out what I am doing tomorrow at 8am in the principal’s office. So far, I know my mentor’s christian name and what school I am going to. So, apart from the obvious things like organising the obligatory paperwork, a hat, my lunch, there is really not too much I can do except surf the net for things that may be helpful for the next three weeks – from Monday afternoon on I know I will be busy and need to have a bank of resources to choose from.

In my net surfing travels I came across another resource of ICTs that I feel will be beneficial to me on prac – I just don’t yet know how. The page is by an educator named Kathy Schrock.

“As an educational technologist, I continue to learn each day. When I develop new presentations or explore a new passion, I create a page of resources. This site will serve as the entry point to these resources, ideas, tips, and tricks”.

This is going straight to the poolroom Diigo page.


 

IMG_4943 by jeaneeem, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  jeaneeem 

* I like pics on my posts but couldn’t find a relevant (legal) one so I am posting one of a great eighties band, Cold Chisel, that I will be listening to on my way to prac tomorrow – it’s a comfort thing.

 

 

Yes, Another Resource

One Thing Leads to Another


I was reading Aaron’s post about ‘Fakebook’ and thought what a useful tool this could be with a lot of social media responsibility lessons to be learnt for students. I can imagine the class being engaged right from mentioning the word. Anyway, whilst I was looking at this I clicked a few more times to get to the home page of this site, ‘Class Tools’, and discovered a whole range of online tools for a bit of class fun (and lots of learning too). It’s definitely worth checking out for classes of all year levels as we head into prac.

By the way, I hope this doesn’t sound too forward but I am really looking forward to meeting Aaron as we are both doing prac at the same school. As an online student it will be nice to meet a real life fellow student from the same university. Of course I wouldn’t have known about this if it weren’t for my PLN on Facebook pages for this course. 😉

One Thing Leads to Another