Friday, January 14, 2011

Edublogs' 30 Days to Kick Start Your Blogging, Teacher Challenge- Life as a blogger!

I'm jumping on board here about a week late, but I am going to try as much as possible to participate in the Edublogs 30 Days to Kick Start Your Blogging Teacher Challenge. This program seems like a good way to structure some writing, spread the word about my blog and blogging in general, perhaps encouraging other SLPs to start blogging themselves. I'd also like to support Edublogs, as their awards competition brought me a lot of new readers. About the challenge (from the site, you can see the challenges posted so far in the right sidebar):

  • The Teacher Challenge is made up of free 30 day professional development challenges where participants are stepped through weekly tasks that increase their skills while working together as part of a global community
  • The Challenge is open to anyone who wants to increase their skills – blogs will be used for reflecting your progress while learning and connecting with each other.
  • However blogs don’t need to be hosted by Edublogs to participate!
  • Participants can complete as many of the tasks as they like and in any order.

You should give it a try!!

The topic I chose for this first activity- Getting Started: Life as a blogger...
I have always liked writing, and studied Journalism and English as an undergraduate. I bumped into a wall when I realized I didn't really like the "go get the story" piece (and the often rigid writing style) inherent in Journalism. However, that love of language led me to pursue Speech-Language Pathology (makes sense, huh?), and I found the writing aspects of the program came pretty naturally. I put writing for myself on hold for some years, until my grad program in Instructional Tech, when one of my courses involved keeping a diary about writing. A few of my friends were playing around with blogging using LiveJournal, and when I gave it a try, it proved a really good outlet for me. Some years later, about a year ago now, I was looking for a different kind of outlet, one in which I could share my ideas and experiences about how technology could enhance interventions. I decided on a blog because it seemed to be a good format for describing, in short, a lot of the great resources that I had found. What is also great about the format is that ideas can (hopefully) reach readers almost instantly and you can let me know what you think about them!

Photo by Eiji Hayashi

But back to life as a "blogger"- right now I am very happy with it. Between some writing and presenting gigs, readership that increases day by day, and an award (thanks!), having started this blog is very satisfying because it seems to be meeting a need in the SLP and education community. How does it work? I surf a LOT, find resources sited by a variety of blogs and other sources, and think about how they could be incorporated into language interventions in order to meet goals and synch with classroom curriculum. I make my own lists and start spinning them into posts trying to explain the resource clearly and always "through a language lens." I try to keep a balance of different post types- the quick blasts about a particular resource, whether it be a site or an app, "how to" posts, and "big idea"/broader posts that talk about issues related to our profession and technology. I write things quite a bit in advance and am always excited to see them publish each morning through Blogger's scheduling feature. It's harder to achieve another balance- since my topic is seemingly boundless (or is it?), I need to figure out how often to post. I don't want to have people lose interest, or on the other hand overwhelm people and run out of ideas. I'm working on it. And of course there's the balance between doing this well and spending time with important people in my life, and other pursuits...

Where do I want this to go? That's TBD. I have really enjoyed making some presentations lately and wonder if that can be a regular part of my work. So that's my life as a blogger. I'm really thankful to you all for reading, as well as to the others out there doing this who provide inspiration.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Sean, you are never too late to complete the challenges. However, you may miss out on comments by the other participants as they search and sift through the blog posts in the next challenge. If I remember correctly you have completed challenge #2 as well. Is that right?
    The third challenge comes out on Monday. Thanks for sharing your advice, experience and how you go about writing and researching for a post. You have some great advice and the processes involved are invaluable for bloggers. As to the frequency of posting - that is a really difficult one and I think the blogger needs to go with what they are comfortable with.

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  2. Hi Sean, I am just checking whether you had completed #2 challenge. As to the antispam word problem. I had the same thing happen to me this morning. As I was getting really frustrated, I cleared the cache on my web browser, refreshed the window and was given a different antispam word. This time it worked. Hope that works for you!

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  3. Thank you for the feedback and tips! I found the antispam thing super-frustrating too hahaha.

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