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Well I’m very happy to discover that I can use the WordPress app offline as I’ve just had to turn off the router due to the loud thunder and lightening. It’s probably time to put away the technology for today but I decided to grab a moment and update my blog. This is the first time I’ve left the main computer today apart from to eat, I started to complete some extra marking for the exam board and it took me 7 1/2 hours to finish it after which I should have come off the computer, went and had a bath or done any number of other things that needed doing. But….I logged in to to check twitter and discovered that there was a twitter chat for the new mooc edcmooc which is starting on Monday. So I was hooked for another couple of hours!
I’m almost up to date with the course materials for etmooc, the only one I have left to watch now is Advanced Blogging – maybe I’ll get around to that tomorrow. This week I practised using some new social curation tools, I’ve been using Diigo for a while but I started to look into some of the ways to organise the bookmarks I’m saving by categorising and tagging. I also started using IFTT more and set up a rule to send everything that I save to pocket straight to Evernote. Now the challenge is to find time to go back and read all these gems that I’ve saved to pocket and Evernote!
Sometimes it’s hard being such a geek…where will I find time for my real life?
Today was my first day back in school after my snow day and my etmooc introduction to blogging session when I had resolved to read other people’s blogs and comment on them.
I decided that the best place to start with this new resolution was with my own classes who have been using blogs as reflective online diaries for the last couple of years while doing project work. When I first introduced blogging to my classes I linked all their blogs to my google reader and read them all for a while, commenting on some of them but because the pupils never really commented back and I didn’t encourage them to comment on each other’s blogs, I soon began to feel that it didn’t matter whether I read their posts regularly or commented on them. It was only after the etmooc blogging session, writing some of my own blogs and receiving comments on them that I realised how important it is to feel that someone is reading and commenting on your blog posts.
So during first lesson this morning I showed my class how to access each other’s blogs and make comments on them and the first thing that surprised me was their reluctance to have feedback from each other. Then it struck me that they are just like all of us new bloggers who are scared to death that people won’t find what we have to say interesting and are delighted when people comment positively on our posts.
So then I started making comments on pupil’s blog posts and soon I had pupils saying “miss no one has commented on mine, can you leave a comment” I’m hopeful that once they get used to people commenting on their work, their blog posts will improve in quality and they will also be less fearful of letting other people read their thoughts.
So … I then logged into WordPress and found….lots of comments on the blog I posted last night! What a great feeling ….I spent a long time replying to those comments and then going to read the blogs of the people who had left me comments. I even got around to reading some other random edmooc blogs which I came upon through google +
I can safely say I am all blogged out for today!
Today was a snow day in Wales which gave me plenty of time to catch up on the etmooc sessions which I hadn’t had a chance to attend during the last week. I watched 2 playbacks today, the first was sharing as accountability. This session made me think about how I have tried to share more with colleagues recently but very often come up against a brick wall, like when I tell them how great twitter is for setting up a PLN – and get strange looks in reply! I also send a lot of emails with information but within my own department very often get no acknowledgement much less thanks. The main thing I took away from Dean’s session was that I should carry on sharing even if it seems I’m getting nothing back – it’ll come back in other ways.
Then I went on to watch the introduction to blogging thinking I wouldn’t get much from it as I’ve done quite a lot of blogging with my students (but very little myself!) I have used Google reader and know how to set it up but for some reason I hadn’t got around to adding the etmooc blog hub and I hadn’t realised how important it was to read other people’s blogs and leave comments for them. I had been wholly focused on writing my own blogs (even if I hadn’t got very far with that either). A very valuable session with lots of information and now I have all those blogs in my reader to catch up with once a day (I hope)
It suddenly, occurred to me this evening that it was about time I was thinking about another blog post. I have attended 3 etmooc sessions this week on blackboard and suddenly found a blackboard app for my iPad this evening so I’m looking forward to attending the next session on my ipad in comfort instead of sitting up in a hard chair on the desktop computer (showing my age now with my aching bones!)
One of the sessions I have attended this week was about twitter. My twitter account was protected until a few weeks ago and I didn’t really use it because it’s so public and I didn’t want students to see my account but I’ve recently discovered a large community of fantastic teachers on there and I’m finding it a great tool for professional development. In fact I wouldn’t have found out about etmooc if it weren’t for twitter! I am also attending my first teach meet on Feb 1st after the Bett technology fair and I’m really excited at the prospect of meeting these “twitter” people in person but very nervous too. They all sound so much more confident and competent than me but I’m trying to push myself to do more things that are out of my comfort zone this year.
Well it’s funny how the words just start to flow when you’re writing a blog – or maybe I was just lucky this time! I’ve also started reading a lot of teacher blogs recently and some of them are amazing…makes my little attempt seem very paltry but I am a learner! Below is a link to some tips which I have found very useful while learning how to connect with educators on twitter.