Tuesday, April 7, 2009

One Month of Webb-ed Feet

Yes indeed, my one month blogoversary!  Not all that long really, yet I really feel this has become a big part of my life and has changed my 'metacognitive processes'.

Blogging about blogging does seem a little indulgent, and posts have been written cursing the practice of 'metablogging'. Nevertheless, it is worthy of a personal reflection, and why not share that?!

These are some of the ways that blogging has changed the way I think:

Blogging has 'forced' me to make connections between ideas. Maybe it's the 'pressure' of finding something new to blog about (!), but I find that when I read other blogs and comments, or articles about teaching/learning, and when I think about my own practice, I am always looking for ways that these things connect. Taking several separate ideas and connecting them, and perhaps developing some new ideas. New for me at least.  In this way I'm a much more reflective practitioner because of the blog.

Will Richardson, in writing about connective writing defines the ultimate goal in blogging as "extended analysis and synthesis over a longer period of time that builds on previous posts, links and comments."   That's what I aspire to as a blogger, and what I want to model for my learners.

Blogging has also given me a sense of accountability about my teaching.  I have such a clear idea in my head of what I would like the learning in my class to look like, but inevitably this is a step by step process, day by day on what can seem like a long journey.  It's great to blog about amazing things other educators are doing and to discuss new ideas, but are these ideas and practices filtering their way into my classroom? Is what my class is doing/learning worthy of comment?  I want it to be! Not so that I can blog about it, but because it means exciting things are happening which I want to share.    

As teachers we experience a kind of professional isolation of sorts. We're all in this together, but each in our own room doing our own thing. I would love to have a look in the classrooms of the people whose blogs I read, but how often do we get that opportunity?   Clarence Fisher recently gave us this opportunity in posting a short video of his class and what they are about on his blog.

Inspiring stuff, and great to see the real everyday context of an educator whose work I admire a great deal. Yes, I am overcome with self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy when I view this (!!), but it makes me ask the questions: What would a video like this of my class look like? What would I like it to look like? Being here in the blogosphere spurs me on to make it happen.

This post by Steve Dembo (definitely subscribe if you have not already done so!) explores the question of what success as a blogger really means. Is it audience size? Posting frequency? He suggests these three questions to ask ourselves as bloggers: 

1. Do you get a good feeling after publishing a new post?

2. Did you enjoy blogging even before anybody knew your blog existed?

3. Would you keep blogging if the comment system didn’t exist?

Great questions, and like Steve, after one month I believe I can also answer these questions in the affirmative!

So glasses raised, and here's to more adventures in the blogosphere!


  1. You have made an impressive start to your webb-edfeet story. I don't know how you have managed to produce so much in depth and challenging content, as well as teaching, I presume! I agree that being able to make connections between ideas is one of the powerful aspects of blogging. It must be great to be a person who processes and makes the cnnections quickly :) I find myself chewing the cud for ages before my thinking clarifies and I feel ready to start tapping.
    I response to Steve Dembo, I am not sure that it is the comments so much as the thought that a blog post actually has a chance of being read that hones my writing (and this applies to writing a comment too...). But this motivates student blogging too and this is the whole reason that I am currently diverting my energies to not only getting students blogging, but teaching them the power of the threaded converations they can be involved in emerging from their posts. If it changes they way we write as adults then it follows that it will do so for students too. We are researching this through Manaiakalani and our iterim findings are confirming this.

  2. Thanks, Dorothy - once again the encouragement is very much appreciated!

    I think it's a good thing to let ideas percolate, and I should probably let mine sit on my mind's shelf a bit longer than they do. But I always think that in blogging, a post is never my last word on a matter, just part of an ongoing conversation.

    It sounds great what you are doing with the whole idea of threaded conversations. Some of my students are starting to understand that but most do not. I have really enjoyed having a parallel asynchronous conversation going with my students, and I really feel that those who are not participating don't know what they are missing!

    I loved what you said about 'the chance that it might be read' is what really hones writing. So true. I look forward to reading more at Manaiakalani about what you're doing!