Moving back into classroom blogging means finding a blogging reading and writing practice for myself

As I run pellmell into a new semester, I find myself needing to look outward to the conversations going on in the edublogosphere in concert with my focus on the day-to-day goings on in the classroom. I cruise through the stories and observations of the week, from Ewan McIntosh losing his blog (argh!), to Will Richardson contemplating his future (There’s a whole new level of energy in his blogging–if that’s even possible– even with his grueling travel and work schedule during these last months in his current job), to the reflections coming out of ELI (especially about Bryan’s presentation–I feel honored that his instructional technologist character includes bgblogging in his blogroll–now I KNOW I’ve arrived if my real world blogging has hit the rolls of the virtual character bloggers!) and Northern Voices recaps here and in an Edtechtalk skypecast with Doug Symington, to the planning going on over at the 2006 BlogHer Conference. It is a busy blogging season indeed out there and not so easy to stay up with when I’m also immersed in a fulltime job as teacher that only has to do with social software and digital storytelling because I choose to teach writing and literature classes this way, not because I teach technology or new media studies.

But read blogs regularly I must, yes, to stay up with the developments in the software–and more importantly– with the thinking about how the new connnectedness changes our educational landscapes, but also, and crucially for me as a teacher, to keep myself thinking clearly about what I am trying to accomplish in my classroom, how and why. It’s what I do before thinking about the week ahead in the classroom. Reading about the new world of EFL teaching through Barbara Dieu, Aaron Campbell and Marco Polo, although not at all my field, informs my teaching through their inventive ways of connecting learners, connecting with one another, and thinking creatively about teaching in second languages. The same goes for Barbara Sawhill’s language lab unleashed. Closer to my teaching home are the essays of Chris Sessums or the classroom stories of James Matthew in Vancouver–always thought-provoking.

And then there’s the inimitable Geeky Mom who somehow manages to weave personal entries about home and family life with what’s going on in her dissertation and in her teaching life. She has two recent posts that really speak to me–“In which I describe my own misbehaving, a post that has me thinking about the ways in which we must, even on the college level, keep guiding our students towards media literacy–the ethics and etiquette of posting to the web, something I’ve blogged about before, and want to return to soon, and which I must keep ever present in my thinking as I walk into the blogging classroom; and a post from a couple of days ago–“Finding Balance: Parenting and Working which touches upon gender issues still nagging us. I’m really noticing how women seem to be blogging the quiet details of life, the classroom experiences, or attending to thier classroom blogs rather than also bursting out into the larger edublogosphere with the big picture. There are plenty of important women theorists: (Jill Walker, danah boyd, Liz Lawley, Lilia Efimova or Kathy Sierra, to name just a few) and plenty of classroom users of technology, but relatively few Anne Davises or <a href=”Laura Blankenships who are writing from within the teaching classroom about the larger issues of education. Interesting. And I hope to do more looking into this phenomenon soon to see if I’m even right about this observation.

And so I no longer sleep in on Saturday mornings–I get up at dawn to read the week’s blogs, to mull them over, to mull over the book reading (right now W J. T. Mitchell’s What Images Want)and the digital storytelling work and classroom explorations and revelations of the week and the web artists (to whom, I think, edubloggers should be paying much more attention for the way they are thinking about collaboration and creativity on the Web–more next post). And if I’m lucky, I bring the lessons gleaned from that reading right back into my teaching and thinking about learning ecologies. Today it means I’ve got two posts brewing–but I’m trying out a new shorter post kind of writing to see if I can actually write less-than-extended essays which, I am sure, bore most blog-readers silly, so I’ll leave this musing here, and return soon to write about the actual impact my reading and writing and conference-going practice are having on this semester’s classroom experience.

%d bloggers like this: