On Blogging in the age of Facebook

This morning I saw that Judy O’Connell, the author of Hey Jude, one of the education-related blogs I’ve been following for years, was taking a break for leave this year and wouldn’t be updating the blog for a while.

In a short post Judy reflected briefly on the changes in the digital landscape since she’d begun her blog and that nowadays opportunities for reflection and interaction online are so much more various.

She wrote: ‘Rather surprisingly to me, I have had this blog since 2006, when writing a web journal was new, and amazingly clunky. But there was a real desire for educators to learn about and become familiar with working, writing, thinking, sharing and in general ‘being online’. Since then of course we have traversed many platforms, virtual and digital, but some foundational activities remain the same.’

I agree, and it made me reflect a little on my own blog, which I’ve turned to less often over the last two years. I think that’s partly because my role has changed: from learning and teaching focused in curriculum, to Deputy Principal with a broader set of objectives and responsibilities and Acting Principal last term last year, with an even broader agenda.

Over the summer break I looked at my blogs (I have several: one reflecting about my creative writing and a family history site) and deleted a couple of early ones that were no longer active at all. My first ever was called ‘Stuff from Warrick’ and I posted pictures and articles I thought were worth re-sharing. That’s gone!

During this process I thought about whether I should keep this blog going. After all, I follow lots of educators on Twitter, and am semi-active in that space. I could just reflect in that arena?

But I decided to keep this going. One reason, as Judy says in her post, there’s an archive of my thinking and reflecting on learning and teaching here and that’s worth something, even if only for me. And, secondly, I think there is still worth in the slightly longer-form writing of a blog beyond the (now slightly extended) limitations of the twittersphere. So, perhaps it’s the warm after-glow of a summer vacation (see pic) about to end, but I intend to revisit this space more often over the next little bit.

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English Teaching is IT (*new blog)

You don’t have to dig too far down the blogroll links to see how immersed I’ve become in the digital world: blogs, wikis, nings (x3), websites, twitter …

So, it was with some deep thought that I got involved in yet another blog, but I did! This idea came about on a bike ride a couple of weeks ago, chatting to another  English teacher named David Baxter about some of the ideas he’d been using in the classroom and talking also about what I was doing. He’s the teacher I blogged about a little while ago in m provocative 😐 Tale of Two Teachers post (it was the best of times, it was the worst of times)

Anyway, we thought it might be good to collaborate on a blog aimed at English teachers looking to use technology in the classroom, a blog that would be more practical and tips based than the meandering theorising that mostly goes on here, but looking at things that work, and some that don’t. Hence English Teaching is IT was born. It’s on WordPress, its up and running, and I hope it’s useful for English teachers and others too. I hope you’ll take a look and maybe even subscribe.  While I  expect there’ll be some cross-over with what I’m writing about here, the focus of the new blog is on the classroom, and tools that work for English teaching and beyond.

English Teaching is IT