Sunday, January 20, 2008

Staying Relevant

Relevant: having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand.

And the "matter at hand" is teaching and more broadly, integrating technology in education. So. Am I relevant? Starting this blog, which is read only by me, has caused me to feel "dangerously irrelevant." Well, not really, but that is the name of another ed-tech blog I like. But..... it has made me face the fact that the world of educational technology is moving FAST. I read the blogs of those that have been doing this for a long time, doing it well, doing it with passion and really making great inroads, and I feel a sense of self-doubt, a sense of overwhelm. I just participated in a survey for edubloggers and could not even answer some of the questions. For example, what is my technorati rating (zero, I am sure) and how many subscribers do I have (uh, that would have to be zero again). But, there were other questions that I should have been able to answer, questions such as "What is your favorite technology tool?" I think about this "stuff" daily, and yet, when put on the spot, I can't come up with a straight answer. And that causes me to question myself. Why am I here? Why am I doing this?

So, this is my post to explain (and defend?) who I am and what I bring to the edu-blogging table.
I will probably always have a humble, simple blog. My blogging time is limited. At this point I am after quality, not quantity. I know that I have a LOT to learn from the leaders in this field. I am not fast, not keeping up with the intense folks.
Well, then, why am I doing this at all? It certainly takes a lot of time. And time is not something I have in abundance, certainly not something I am willing to waste.

I have been teaching for about 16 years. In this time I have taught in many situations, many grade levels, many subjects. My interest in educational technology came, not because I loved technology, but because I saw its potential in motivating my students. I grew to love the technology, too, and have had to push myself to learn in order to stay relevant. In my current position as technology coordinator at a small, private school I am responsible for everything that has any relation to technology, from printing pictures for people to maintaining the website, to teaching students and training teachers, to network admin.
I love what I do. I am challenged and always learning. I love that.
I like blogging for many reasons. I like to reflect on my teaching practices and think through my ideas. I enjoy writing. I know that really getting into the world of blogging also involves interaction in the blogging world. I hope to find more time for this eventually and look forward to having readers. I have learned so much from others out there on the web. And I do feel that I have something useful to share with other teachers interested in using technology to enhance their teaching. Not only is blogging compelling, fun, creative, reflective, interactive....I think that blogging is necessary for my growth as a professional, necessary to stay relevant.

I think my blog reflects who I am. I probably talk too much. I am very selective. I think that, while there are a ton of educational websites and resources, there are only a handful (admittedly getting to be a bigger and bigger handful) of really excellent sites and resources. I spend hours and hours online, panning for that one nugget of gold that I will use with my students. Ideally, I would like to use my blog to share what I find with other teachers out there who don't have the hours to spend sifting through all the junk and semi-junk. 

I know I have much more to learn than I have to teach, but I do think I have something valuable to share. My goal is to become a player in the sharing that is occurring, not just a taker, but someone who gives back. Ultimately, too, I would like to have ads on my blog and supplement my very meager income with blogging. I know this is a tall order for someone joining the party at the 11th hour, but hey, why not? I don't think that making money through blogging detracts from the purity of my love for teaching as I have seen mentioned on other teachers' blogs. So, there you have it, my faithful reader. If anyone is reading this blog, please do feel free to leave a comment.
And here is a link to the survey for edubloggers.


Unknown said...

Good luck with your blogging. I am part of an edtech team in Memphis and we are all blogging now as well. you can see my blog at . We also struggle with the feeling that we are blogging only for ourselves and that no one is reading us, but slowly we seem to be getting teachers in our district and from further afield reading our offerings. SO don't give up.

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