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one reflecting about my creative writing and a family history site) and deleted a couple of early ones that were no longer active at all.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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Writing on the IPad

Had my first experience of using the iPad in a real life writing session this week in a longish briefing on the Australian Curriculum. Three hours or so in an uncomfortable little seat all squashed up I was pretty glad I wasn’t balancing a full sized widescreen Dell or something and was interested to see how the iPad would go.

The answer was, pretty well. Battery life wasn’t going to be an issue meaning I didn’t have to fight the early arrivers who’d already camped on the four power points available. I used to do that I thought smugly!

So I got settled and got ready to take my notes and suddenly thought, what am I going to take my notes with? Evernote? A bit clunky for note taking. IA Writer, nice distraction free app but no formatting. And no formatting either for Notesy, which I finally decided upon, and which worked well and was happy knowing it would sync with Dropbox in the background. Don’t know what app others would recommend bit k did go home and buy Pages that night, for the formatting options. Would have loved an app for OneNote, which is where these notes were heading in the long run anyway. Not that I could actually get my notes off the ipad when I got back to work. For all the talk about the cloud and anytime anywhere computing, Windows networks don’t play well with other tools. I got the notes on to my computer finally when I got home to own little network.

Oh, and four phones went off in the meeting with each of the recipients doing that mock-sheepish thing where they hurry out of the room trying to look simultaneously embarrassed and important, but all the time actually taking the call as they go. If it was a student what would everyone be saying about those young people and their technology?