Thursday, September 27, 2007

standing at the edge of a blog

When I score free shirts from a conference, I always feel full of product and cotton. And with every new app I find and use, I feel myself filling up with potential and passwords.

But the more and more I blog, I find myself feeling a bit icky and insecure. Every post I create and every post I read from other bloggers leaves me feeling a bit confused about my place and purpose.

I am learning to blog like some people learn how to swim: reticent, toe-swishing, and tentative; standing at the edge of the pool posing more questions of doubt than affirmations of confidence.

I wonder:

Can I post more than one comment on one post?

Is comment-based conversation between blogger and commenter permitted in a blog?

Does finding an error in a comment I just posted and then submitting a revision allowed?

What if the revision does not replace the first comment, but shows up in near-duplicate fashion?

How do you deftly promote your blog without coming off as self-promoting?

Then there are other questions:

Do blog headlines follow the headline rules for journalism?

How important are hyperlinks in a blog post?

Is a blogger's authority on any topic determined by the number of hyperlinks included?

Does a blog URL heighten importance or professionalism: kenrodoff.com vs. kenrodoff.blogspot.com?

And one more:

Why the hell are the voices out in front of tech integration in education so far removed from actual classroom teaching?

2 comments:

Damian said...

When I started blogging just under 2 months ago, I found myself damn near paralyzed by all the ideas you bring up here. Took me a couple of days after registering @ Edublogs to work up the nerve to write something. Wanted to get traffic, but hesitant to drop links on others' blogs. Wanted to comment, but afraid I'd be misconstrued and labeled thereafter (oh, the humanity!).

Lots of thoughts on all your points (most of which amount to, "link thru your username" and "just do your thing and it'll be all right"), but the last one really hits me hard. It's not just in "ed tech", but in much of education - it seems that the loudest voices are not always coming from the classroom.

I don't think that's entirely a bad thing; however, I wonder what the breakdown between current teacher v. former teacher/non-teacher would look like if you took a random sample of education blogs. I'm currently a teacher, but I likely won't be after this school year - should I turn in my blogging license, or at least shift my blog's focus?

Dennis Fermoyle had a great post & comment thread expressing an opinion similar to mine. I suppose I rely on the folks who have devoted large parts of their careers to ed tech to show me the cool new tools out there, but I also highly value the actively blogging teachers like the folks in my blogroll/RSS feeds who can offer up practical applications and critical reflections as to their utility.

Oh, and to try to actually answer your question: many folks I speak to feel that learning about technology is "just another thing I'm forced to do." I also speak to people who are game for it, but get too easily frustrated and decide to fall back on what they know well.

Is that their fault for being closed-minded, or the schools' fault for not providing meaningful (read: practical, not theoretical) tech PD?

Sorry for the novel here; been off the blogs a while and have a lot to say. Please don't label me. :-)

Taylor said...

Oh man! You said it. I feel that nobody listens to the classroom teachers at all, and not just in edtech. The culture in my school seems adversarial, largely due to helicopter parents scaring the administration with constant threats of lawsuits.

Regarding the blogging questions: I have all those too. I think we have to just try to follow the golden rule, be nice, and people will understand who we are. Like we tell children, "if they're that judgmental, you don't want them as a friend anyway."