Blogging – a reflection 3#

Series of posts for the ASLA Online 2008 conference.

On Monday I attended the Christian Teacher Librarians Conference – a really nice bunch of guys an gals working in Christian schools here in New South Wales. I love working with this group because they bring a very special passion and sense of collaboration to their work. Last year I introduced them to Web 20 with my presentation Creative Web 2.0 Learning, and this year I am back to talk about how things have developed in Web 2.0 in the context of running some hands-on workshops. There’s something special about what has happened with this group! As I explained, the slides of the presentation have had quite a big ‘airing’ on blogs and wikis around the world.

So to me this is another dimension of blogging that can’t be overlooked. Not only do we discover, learn, share and encourage each other – but through the conversation of blogs (and wikis) we promote a transformation in the learning opportunities for our students.

During the workshops we *waved to my friends on Twitter, and they *waved back. It’s on twitter that I found the fabulous workshop support wiki 21CTools of Liz Davis – which I shared with the workshop participants (after thanking Liz on Twitter for sharing this resource with us). Twitter is the quick conversation space that tractions the more in-depth conversation of blogging – and it is just one of the many things we talked about as having changed in the blogging and Web 2.0 world in the last 12 months.

I had the chance to sit and listen to Anne Lockwood from Tara Anglican School for Girls, who talked to us all about working with vision and reflecting about the value of our role as Teacher Librarians. Above all, Anne  reminded us just how busy and ‘multi-tasking’ each day of our Teacher Librarian lives are! Anne insisted  that a sense of humour is critical! And through all the fun and hard work she urged us to remember to Focus on Vision – it is so vital to have a ‘big picture.

Anne demonstrated her website to us and talked about transforming our physical and virtual environment as well as our managment procedures. Remember procedures manuals? I love how Anne has visually mapped ‘how to’ sheets rather than the usual procedures manual! Also, reworking your presentation and layout in your physical spaces is essential for us all – do it on a shoestring or with pots of money. Either way, think about your services and change!

Well I can certainly think of many ways to change – but so can all the others in the blogosphere taking part in this conversation about change. The amazing thing is that because of blogging you CAN get a whole new perspective on what’s possible. Starting out is a fabulous adventure – and we all started due to being ‘charged up’ by someone else.

Alisha commented recently that she was inspired by her attendance at the Why2 or Web 2.0 seminar in Sydney with Will Richardson.

After the conference in Sydney, I talked with my principal and even though I work in a primary school, we are opening the door a little to allow our students to use Web 2.0 tools. I created my first blog for My Year 3 class and they love it. This week I am sharing this with my staff and then running some workshops for anyone who would like to start blogging. Feel free to take a look at our blog… it is only in the early stages but the children love it.
Thank you to the presenters at The Why 2 of Web 2.0 conference in Sydney for lighting a fire within.

Because of these connections we talk and play continually. A fellow blogger, Dean Groom, leads the way with some very innovative ideas and pedogogical directions at his school. Sharing some links via Skype, I was also able to find and share (what was a great discovery for me) a link for Sue (his Deputy Principal wife) , who was busy thinking of ideas for the students in her primary school. Teacher’s Pet for MS word looked like a very nice enhancement to MS Word and Open Office.

So that’s the thing – it’s not just about blogging – it’s about losing your digital accent!

Will Richardson’s Losing your Digital Accent wiki has the links you need to to dig and then dig even further. We carry an accent just because we were not born ‘hard-wired’ to technology the way the kids are now.

What gets me is the ease that a 3 year old can navigate in Second Life with dad’s avatar – compared to the wooden mode that most adults first adopt.

Don’t lose heart. We are living in one of the most exciting eras in education – so bring anyone you can along with you on the Web 2.0 journey. Find yourself someone nearby and ‘light their fire’!

Blogging – a reflection #2

Series of posts for the ASLA Online 2008 conference.

It’s interesting to look at blogging as a form of communication – in the broader context, not just in education. Blogging has become a highly interactive experience, and permiates so many parts of society, not just education. The media have adopted blogging, companies have adopted bloging, mums and dads have adopted blogging – the world is certainly changing.

Lets’ take the Sydney Morning Herald as an example. The Herald has quite a number of blogs throughout the site. You can see the full range at Blog Central! When you looks at the Herald’s most viewed items, blogs are amongst the ones that are covered.

The uptake of blogging in the media, and the corporate world accentuates the importance for teachers and teacher librarians to stop, recheck, then adopt blogging in some form or another. The Read/Write web is with us, and citizen reporting is a crucial part of the developments taking place globally.

Moving Forward is an excellent wiki that covers many aspecst of our mulitmodal education journey. On this wiki you will find that key Blog Posts have been archived, so that you can revisit some of the foundational or provocative blog posts to date. These posts have generated significant discussion in the comments section and/or in the blogosphere as a whole.

But back to the broader context! If you haven’t already seen it, then this video from the Commoncraft Show explains how blogging emerged and how blogging now fits into our world for fun, hobbies, family, news and more.

If you’ve discovered something new, or would like to add to these ideas, please share it by adding a comment to this post.