I am taking a course in my spare time. It’s called Smart Learning (SmartLæring) run by Norwegian University NTNU and is run as a MOOC. It’s not the first MOOC I’ve taken but looks to be the first one I may have a chance of completing!

Part of Module 5 of this course is either to write a blog post on why I blog or to start a blog. I fit in the middle. I have a blog with 78 (soon to be 79) posts but it’s 5 years since I last wrote a blog post so this gives me an excuse to reflect and hopefully to start up again.

writer-1129708_640

writer

When I started a blog it was because I realised I had interesting experiences I wanted to share with other teachers. Writing blog posts was always rewarding, not always in terms of interaction but it always gave me a space to reflect on what I had done and process what I had learnt. Then I moved.
I moved countries, I moved jobs and there never seemed a natural transition where I could just continue blogging. I think when one starts to write in public reflecting on their job they need to have the confidence that they can do so without being looked on negatively by their workplace or colleagues. When I was a teacher, I was comfortable in my school, confident that I had the support of the leadership with my innovation work and I made the time to reflect on what I was doing. I wanted to write lots more than I did but had to limit myself because of time. Then I moved to a new job in the corporate world. There were issues of what was allowed to be shared and what not, what is confidential and business sensitive information and most importantly, what will actually be interesting for other people to read! I’m a very honest person in my reflections, celebrating what went well but also looking at mistakes and what we did wrong, I didn’t and still don’t feel so confident sharing these mistakes in public less in case it looks bad to the owners and clients of the company I work in. In a way it doesn’t make sense as schools are often very data sensitive places and pupil information should be treated just as carefully as any other, but I guess I was part of a big community of bloggers who did the same thing and it was only natural to follow.

I’ve been meaning to resume blogging for the last couple of years, but 2 children (aged 2 and 9 months) don’t give me much time to sit, think and write at home.

So here’s to a new start. I have 2 long blog posts in progress but they probably won’t be finished for a while. In the meantime I will try and write some shorter insights more regularly to give some insight into what I do now.

Before I sign off the course assignment suggested to share blogging work we had done with our students. This is what my class and I did back in 2008
http://rickyict.blogspot.no/

They were a wonderful class and are all grown up now (21/22)! You can see some of the activities we did in class and some of their old blogs are still active!

This Summer I’ve been a bad blogger despite having so many posts up my sleeves and in progress. 2 weeks left until school starts and I’m setting myself up a mini office (a laptop ona table) to mark coursework, learn a programming language, get up to date on the new A2 course and of course write some blog posts.To put a little pressure on myself here’s some blog posts I’m planning on writing and finishing – if they don’t appear somebody hassle me until I do! I guess as I write them I’ll edit this post to link to them.

  1. A review of a year of VLE and e-learning at school.
  2. A few great examples of VLE use this year at school.
  3. My experiences of creating a scorm e-learning resource.
  4. Nintendo DS in the classroom.
  5. My MA research into “What gets kids on a VLE and what difference does age make”
  6. Some cool bits of a cool school I visited (in Boston)

Doing all of those in the next two weeks is a little ambitious but at least I now have a plan. Hope everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying their Summer and everyone in the Southern Hemisphere their Winter.

I’m currently at the Mirandamod Conference on “Teachers as Bloggers” – click here for the “Teachers as Bloggers” page with information and also links to communal mindmaps that are being created.

We’ve been discussing blogging all day. One point of many that resonated was how long it can take to write a blog post. So I’m taking a few minutes to see if I can write a quick post about something that has impressed me – and I’m going to go a little off topic. The conversation about blogging has been superb, the collaborative mindmap has been great fun but I’m so impressed as to how well the videoconferencing is working.

In the room at the IOE we’re all sitting around a table and at one end of a room is a projector showing a display of a flashmeeting videoconference. Currently there are 19 people joined to the flashmeeting and they are very much participants not just online but in the room. We’ve 10 in the face to face meeting and 19 online. Having attended so many presentations and conferences where the technology doesn’t work it’s great to have a solution that just works!

Credit to flashmeeting and credit to Leon Cych for doing the filming here. It’s time to get some videoconferencing working in my school.

  • ps – I got this blog written in about 15 minutes, result or rushed?