Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Blogging - Leaving Pieces Behind

I am writing this blog in response to Todd Nesloney's #EduLS Week 5 challenge. The assignment is to write a blog entry. For some it will be their first ever blog. For others this week's assignment will be part of their regular routine. For me, it falls in the middle. Blogging isn't something I do everyday or regularly, but something I have done sporadically. I have contributed to two blogs, this blog and Banana Daiquiris and Life Lessons. This blog is for my "professional life" while BD & LL is more personal. I am one of several (and certainly not the most entertaining/creative/cleaver/consistent/funny) contributors to BD & LL.

Back to the point. As I thought about the topic for this blog post, I read through some previous posts and a thought started to develop. There are lots of great reasons to blog. Jon Harper mentions a few of these in this video introduction. I find that blogging is a chance for me to think through some of my disjointed thoughts and attempt to make them understandable and relevant for others. As I read and reflected I also took a moment to look at my blog data. My blog is not followed by many people (actually only 1 and I think he was guilt-ed into it). However, by the magic of the inter-web and social media, my blog has been viewed 595 times. Certainly not very impressive and not even close to what more popular educational blogs see in one day.

Still I can't see this as a bit impressive. My first post was on March 21, 2014. In a little less than a year my little dinky, experimental, rambling, inconsistently contributed to blog was looked at 595 times. Not too bad. Granted some of these were friends and family, some were certainly repeats, some were probably even accidental. Still, it means that 595 times someone was exposed to what I had to say. I can somewhat confidently say that even if only half of those visits were from viewers who were somewhat interested in the content and took the time to read all or part of a post, my thoughts were shared with another human being around 300 times. That's pretty cool! And just maybe of half of those times - 150 times someone read something what I wrote and considered it. And just maybe a quarter of those instances (around 37 of those times - I should have used an easier number) someone thought further about or talked about or actually made a change to something that they do in their classroom or with their own children. Well that's pretty cool. And all I had to do was take 15 minutes and write some thoughts and post them to the magical inter-web. Pretty awesome stuff.

And how does this all relate to the title? I began to understand that writing a blog is like leaving little pieces and bits of information behind. And what's so impressive about that? Pretty simple. We all look for information on a particular topic daily. What's cool about blogs is that any time someone goes to the Google and types a question or topic into the search bar, there is a chance that that person will come across what you wrote. My job is to present PD to educators. I love my job and hope that I make a difference for students. However, I know that there are times when I present on a topic - let's say task-based learning for instance, and those that I am presenting to (or some of them) are not quite ready to use the information to make change in their classroom. Unfortunately this information may be lost. And lets face it 99.9% of the time they will never look at the materials given to them ever again. But then later (maybe 1 year, 2 years or 5 years later) they say, "Wow, I can really see how I could use task based learning to help my students understand _______________. I just wish I could find that stuff that one guy gave me." That's were the internet, including blogs, teacher pages, etc are great resources. They are little pieces of information left for others to find when they need it and when they are ready for it.

Now do I know if anything that I write makes a difference to anyone? Not really. But I think the odds are with me. Especially if I continue to blog, read blogs, consider their ideas, share their ideas, blog some more, post some more resources etc.

Happy blogging and thanks again to Todd Nesloney for putting us all to the #EduLS challenge! Maybe someday I will make his, or someone else's list of favorite blogs! And be sure to check out BD&LL. I like to think we are somewhat entertaining and will make you think about some things you never thought you would think about. Besides, we'd all like to be famous. And the only way for that to happen is if people like you read our stuff. Enjoy!