Yesterday, I asked the question, “Will #RCAC2010 Make a Difference?” It was a serious question. I know myself that I’ve attended a large number of professional development activities and some are engaging and made me change my practice and others were, well, real clock watchers.
Three years ago, a colleague and friend attended the Western Regional Computer Advisory Committee’s annual Symposium. One of the keynote speakers at the time was Will Richardson who made the case for leveraging the Read/Write Web with a focus on education. It was a motivating talk and a call to action for those who listened. One of the things that Will spoke about with passion was the notion of blogging. At the time, and since, blogging has been proclaimed loudly and wildly as one of the next publishing platforms for student engagement in the reading, writing, responding process. It’s also a sore point for me as well. I’ve heard so many people talk about the power of blogging and how you should be doing it. My litmus test has always been to ask to check out their blog. “Well, er, ummm, I don’t really have one…” Let’s flush your credibility then. Whatever happened to the old “Walk the walk and talk the talk” stuff?
Back to my colleague and friend. I’m not sure how or why he ended up going to Symposium. He’s not a computer type. In fact, he was an English teacher and a literacy coach. I may have mentioned something about blogging to the right person at work and that put the ball rolling. The details don’t matter but the fact is that Paul showed up and heard the message. He heard about the power of blogging so well that I distinctly remember having a followup conversation with him where he posed the question about how to blog consistently on a theme. Now, nobody will ever mistake me for an English teacher but my advice was to not necessarily focus on a particular topic or theme. You don’t have a specific brand or you don’t work for a company – just write about what interests you in the moment. Some will be hits and some will be misses but you’re not making this a job, rather it’s for the enjoyment of self-publishing.
Well, three years later, as a result of the Symposium, his blog is about to hit its own personal three year anniversary. I smile when I think of how the blog is categorized in Alltop. He’s in the category of “Good“. In another life, I would scoff at that as a category but I can’t think of a better way to describe this offering.
His blog “Quoteflections – a regular eclectic mind fix” is a regular read for me. In fact, I have made it one of my personal reads on my custom Alltop page. I find reading this blog so interesting because you never know what’s inspired Paul’s writing on any particular day. His insights and often personal photography are the sorts of inspirational things that just trigger my interest. The biggest thing is that Paul is a reliable daily blogger. Unlike other blogs, you don’t have to wonder if this will be the day that he finally gets around to writing something. He will. He’s so devoted that, even when he’s on holidays, he has a stock of posts queued for automated publication. How’s that for dedication?
All of this happened because of a message that he heard at the Symposium. He could have come for the food and to kick back and listen for the day. The message that he heard, on the the other hand, made a difference for him.
Now, it may presumptuous to assume that everyone is going to become a world-class blogger like Paul. But, I’d like to think that there was inspiration at some level for those who attended.
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