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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The worst vice is advice

I've been thinking a lot about blogs.

Most days I come and leave some sort of rambling scrawl on this site.

I hope that some days this might be quite insightful, sometimes thought provoking, and occasionally my thoughts may act as a starter for worthwhile educational discussion.

I also know that from the stat counter, there are quite a few people that bother to look at what I have to say.

Why though?

This is post number 70 in this blog. Of those 70 posts, probably only about 5 of them are really worthwhile. The rest of them merely serve as a commentary on what I have been doing that day.

What is the point in me doing this? Is it to serve the voyuerism in others? Is this really just like reading someone's diary? I hope not - I don't think I really make enough personal comments on this to serve that purpose.

There are a few who make regular comments. Of course I am grateful to them, but when you bear in mind that I knew them as individuals before I started the blog, then is there any 'value added' by this being public?

Sure, there have been a few comments from people that I hardly know, and in some cases don't know at all, but what have any of us gained by all this?

I had a discussion with Marlyn tonight about various issues, but we agreed that the blog was a fantastic tool for the kids - they have grown in different intelligences far beyond her expectations as a class teacher. I can see real educational value in the use of a blog for the development of our students - instead of working for the class teacher they are working for a global audience - all of a sudden, neat handwriting takes on a whole new perspective!

I'm just not too sure about the reason for keeping it up as an ESO. My employer does not expect or require me to keep a visible diary. It never ceases to amaze me what gets commented on, and what doesn't.

The worst vice is advice. My advice? Start a blog for use in the classroom. The motivation of your students will increase exponentially. Why you should keep one as an individual though I have no idea.

Here's looking forward to the possibility of post 71...


Blogger Ewan McIntosh said...

I found that it took about 6 months for my own learning log to get anything like the traffic it gets now - around 500-600 visits a day. Most of them are 'repeat subscriptions'. What surprises me, too, is what people find interesting, not just from the number of comments (which only recently exceeded the number of posts) but from the stats for particular posts.

Still, I don't keep my blog for them, I still keep it for me. It's been invaluable in thinking things through. When you have to write something for an audience (even if it is only your mum in the beginning) forces you to think through whether you're really right about something.

I guess I read your blog because it reassures me I'm not alone in thinking the things I do.

Blog on!

9:08 pm  
Blogger ab said...

Thanks Ewan. I suppose some days are better than others?

I guess I must be suffering from cabin fever - I will only have visited two schools during this fortnight, and then it's the holidays. The rest of the time I have been drowning under a mountain of digital paperwork (how's that for a mixed metaphor!), but more on that I suppose in the future.

With that parting shot, it looks like I'll be continuing...?

9:43 pm  
Blogger Morag Macdonald said...

I think it is fascinating to see who and from where the hits come from to our blogs. I have found the process quite addictive and in educational terms you know I am with Marlyn on that score.
Personally I was encouraged by you and John to keep my blog account of the use of the whiteboard but I agree with Ewan about thinking things through. Remember on teaching practice when you had to comment on every lesson in your folder or the self evaluation forms we fill in following delivery of courses at Inveraray-same thing. We are all so busy that time to reflect is useful and if the odd other person looks or comments upon our reflections then we have communicated something. Marlyn and I get very excited when we see links from other educators but I fully expected the teddy blog to be more 'popular' than mine.
I read your blog Andrew because it gives me an insight into what you do and your opinions. I don't meet you very often so it is a way of keeping in touch- now Eolas has not achieved that apart from the occassional flurry of activity. Teachers are very nosy by nature and love looking in other classrooms (well I do). So perhaps my blog is a way of allowing other educators to have a nose about my domain- tucked away at the end of the road as it is- but with a handy ferry link to Kintyre!
Keep on blogging.
I blog- therefore I am!!!

9:58 pm  
Blogger marlyn moffat said...

Clique..just now...growing so fast....but in Dicken's time...so were coffee shops and reading...if you hadn't had a blog then neither would I, and the teddies would never have been conceived...now there's a responsibility! Still you have no paternity rights! I enjoy the disagreement as well as.... It's called communication...the C in ICT. Don't dare stop when you have laid out the bait and the fish are biting!

11:56 pm  
Blogger Chris said...

Blogging for me is a way of keeping my skills sharp - once you leave the classroom (or once *I* left the classroom) there might have been no reason for me to think again!
Actually that's not strictly true in my case - but the stimulus of a readership is not to be denied. Besides - I enjoy it!

11:58 am  
Anonymous John said...

Hi Andrew,
No idea why you should write a blog, but I know why I read it and other blogs: ideas to borrow, food for thought, community without having to join anything.
Add me to the don't stop list.

9:49 am  
Blogger Matthew Boyle said...

To blog or not to blog? That is the question.

11:28 pm  

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