A blog post on blogging…
It makes me quite sad really and I’m not sure why.
I think it is more of a sadness that comes from working with people who aren’t innovative or can’t see the value in something they don’t understand themselves. Even worse, people who don’t like something purely because it wasn’t their idea.
Blogging is great. Professionals do it, teachers do it, musicians, reporters, children, teens, old, young… there is no apparent limit on who blogs and about what they blog – the joys of internet freedom (unless of course you are in China or North Korea, but perhaps there is a whole different argument there!)
I started blogging in 2007 and started my first independent ‘teaching’ blog in July 2008: http://mrwatsonsplace.wordpress.com/
I set up a whole school worth of class blogs, trained staff on how it was done and what a powerful tool it could be and how it could link our children’s learning with school, home, community and the world at large, it was great and off we went. I led the way, updating 2,3 sometimes 4 times a week, I had a slot in my timetable where I trained the Y6s how to do and let them add content, they worked with Y5 and so on, it was awesome – sadly these class blogs seem to no longer be on the web as proof of this work.
One moves job and sometimes the work you leave behind is surpassed by something else as priorities change.
I did manage to transfer my own across though, I had to remove a few bits and it isn’t really a good example anymore but here it is, the white whale…http://mrwatsonsnewplace.wordpress.com/
It’s like an eBook now, almost exactly like the original, but somehow it just lacks the emotional character.
This is one of my favourite posts because of the amazing discussion it generated with Y3 children:
What was sad is that, I stopped. Why did I stop?
Well I was told it wasn’t valuable use of the children’s time, it wasn’t productive, it didn’t seem to serve a purpose…
I argued, but lost and in the end I was the only one bothering and eventually even that slowly drew to a close. That is what’s sad.
Now, some 6 years and 3 jobs later, I find Twitter loaded with people creating fabulous work with class blog and children blogging to a wider audience for feedback and for opportunity to share their work; I am talking to you @ and others. Wonderful work with children writing brilliant stuff and sharing it! I try as much as I can to comment on those works – just to show the system works and of course it does.
An example: http://2013year5.stjosephsblogs.net/
I was doing this so long ago and I stopped because I let someone else’s opinion cloud my judgement – shame on me!
It took until January 2010, new job, new opportunities until I started again properly and this time it took off in a big way. Children, parents and staff loved it – only this time the leadership embraced it too.
The result: http://watsoneastwoldblog.wordpress.com/
A blog which is now redundant (Left the school July 2011) with 354,959 hits (at time of writing) and still rising steadily, even though no one monitors it any more. I see ex-pupils from time to time and they tell me that they still go back and look now, using some of the links in their work.
Now that is the opposite of sad.
That turns my frown upside down!
And so here I am again – back on the horse so to speak. (Bl-orse? Bl-onkey? Not sure)
I love blogs.
Reading the thoughts of other professionals is one of the best ways to gain an insight into what is happening everywhere else. If nothing, it has taught me that I didn’t realise how little I knew! Well, now I am working to rectify that.
At the moment there is a lot I would like to say and a lot I probably shouldn’t! I will strike a balance and keep adding little pieces of my mind to this page as and when it comes to me.
I can also say that, my class will be getting a blog very soon.
As I draw to the end, I think this is a more a cathartic post than a educational one.
In reflection, I knew I was onto a good thing and I let it go.
I can categorically say that I will not be doing that again. Lesson learned.
So finally, if you find yourself with nothing better to do, click here and practice this. It started as a joke and 2 boys learned the whole thing, off by heart, at home and performed to the class. Why? Because they wanted to, they chose to and because they could!!
Posted on 04/06/2014, in Blogging, EdTech and tagged blog, blogging, edtech, education, ict, impact, internet, journey, leadership, learning, online, pupils, school, teaching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.