Posted by: crudbasher | July 1, 2011

What I Have Learned From 18 Months of Edu Blogging

I found a really cool plugin for WordPress the other day. The WP Word Count plugin lets you count the total words you have written on your WordPress blog.

My count since Jan 2010 is 160,400.

Now some of that is annotations that I put in many posts, but even so, that’s still a lot I think. So here is the big question: What have I learned in all that?

The Thinker (cc) Wikimedia Commons

In no particular order, here is what I have learned.

Blogging 

  1. Blogging is about two things: Introspection and influencing others.
  2. You might not think anyone is reading your blog, but try writing something controversial. 🙂 People come out of the woodwork then!
  3. If you only write about what you are sure about, then nobody will read it because they know it too. People keep coming back to get their horizons broadened.
  4. Always respond to comments.
  5. Be gracious to your commenters. Inviting them to comment is just like inviting them into your home. They are doing you an honor by commenting even if it’s to disagree.
  6. You don’t have to post every day but you do have to be consistent.
  7. Going off topic is an indulgence that should be used sparingly. Do it to show your personality to your readers.

Social Media

  1.  Blogging and Twitter go hand in hand. You can get your ideas to people who want to read them.
  2. Some people on Twitter are there just to watch, and some are the foundations. I fall somewhere in the middle.
  3. If you disagree with someone, do it respectfully. Debate their ideas, not their character.
  4. Having said that, sometimes it’s better to keep quiet. Some people use Twitter as a place to go for reinforcement of your beliefs. Don’t get in the way if someone is looking for that, it gets ugly.
  5. It’s better to follow hashtags than people.

Education

  1. I started this blog under the assumption that Education is about to be seriously disrupted by upcoming technologies. I think not only was that assumption correct, I was underestimating the magnitude of the disruption.
  2. School and learning are not the same thing.
  3. Schools were developed to create standardized workers for the Industrial Revolution. As a result of this, every part of the system is treated as standardized and interchangable, including the teachers.
  4. The school system is designed to be very highly resistance to change. This is to protect the standardization process.
  5. Emphasis has been placed on equality of outcomes in learning. While well intentioned, it is a mistake. It prevents students from reaching their full potential.
  6. As we progress further into this century, the people who succeed will be the ones who can creatively think and innovate in non standard ways.
  7. You cannot take a standardized system and produce a non standard product. Therefore, the current school system is doomed.
  8. There are many purposes for the current school system. Learning is not #1.
  9. There are many forces that influence the purposes of the school system. Last on that list are teachers, parents and students (in that order).
  10. There are a great group of motivated, technically skilled, and dedicated teachers in the school system. Their hands are usually tied.
  11. Perhaps the real reason there is so much debate about the right way to reform the education system is it isn’t designed to do what we now need it to do. You can’t cook breakfast with a hammer.
  12. Despite all of the gloom in the education field right now, I think we are about to enter a golden age of learning and creativity.

I would be remiss without thanking some of the wonderful fellow teachers I have met on Twitter. Special thanks for @bethstill @ShellTerrell @coolcatteacher @Ron_Peck @tomwhitby @alexgfrancisco and especially @ktenkely who commented on everything I wrote for my first year and helped keep me going in the beginning! (sorry if I missed anyone else) You guys are all special and important to me!

I’m not done blogging yet. Still lots to learn and share!

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Responses

  1. Das war genau das, was ich suchte. Vielen Dank für dieses .. Ich schätze Ihren Blog! Vielen Dank!

    Skilled People Education Requirements

  2. Dear Andrew,

    Your post sums up beautiffully what I have learnt myself. And, although I have been somewhat absent lately, I still feel energized just by picking up the bits and pieces of what’s going on the blogsphere and twitter.

    Like Shelly pointed out once, “If every educator in our PLN shared, shared, shared their best practices on social media we wouldn’t be a voice we’d be a roar.”

    Thank you for creating ripples. Thank you for adding your voice to the roar!
    Alex

    • Yeah Shelly is very wise. 🙂 So are you Alex, I miss you on Twitter! I will always appreciate you being kind to me when I first was getting started. I was welcomed into the community and that kept me going.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I may not comment on every post these days, but I still read each and every one (even if it is weeks after you wrote it!). Congratulations and keep writing, I love watching for the storm front through your eyes

    • Thanks Kelly. I enjoy knowing you are reading my stuff!


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