I am not a great blogger

In yesterday’s, This Week in Ontario Edublogs post, I made reference to a post from Steven Secord he titled “Extending by Failing“.

It was an interesting read; as I mentioned, I really enjoy reading the thoughts of those who are participating in the Extend Ontario project.  In this case, Steven made reference to participation in the 9x9x25 activity.

The idea is to post about your teaching in 9 posts, over 9 weeks, with a minimum of 25 sentences per post.

That sounds like an admirable goal and a challenge that he was up for.

I think it’s easy to “think” about 9x9x25 but yet another thing to actually post about it, especially when you think about the time commitment.  I remember an activity that the class I taught at the university and how it involved the same sort of approach and it generated the type of question that you’d expect from a Grade 10 class.

Does this count?

In Steven’s case, of course it’s going to count as he’s aiming to pick up an Extend Ontario coffee mug.

In the middle of the post, Steven includes this sentence.

“I am not a great blogger”

That made me stop in my tracks and my wheels started spinning.  It was the word “great” that got me thinking.

Just what is a “great blogger”?

I’ll admit that I was stumped.

It should come as no surprise that I am a big supporter of blogging.  I don’t know of two people who blog with the same purpose in mind.  That’s what makes my Livebinder of Ontario Edubloggers so valuable for me and certainly why Teaching by the Bay is there under the Higher Education tab.


To butcher a well recognized phrase “reading blogs is like a box of chocolates”.  You know how it ends.

So, I think of the reasons why people share when they’re blogging…

  • reflection of a practice
  • announcement of an upcoming event
  • summary of learning from a professional development event
  • evaluation of a website
  • a response to a news article
  • evaluation of a piece of software
  • expanding upon an educational theory
  • making notes so that you document it and don’t forget it
  • a response to another’s blog post
  • an interview with someone else

and the list goes on and on.  It’s typically done on a schedule, or when time permits, or when inspiration hits, or when you’re doing a challenge like the 9x9x25, or …

Yesterday, there were seven blog posts that were included in my Friday summary.

  • one involving a physical experiment and mathematically analyzing the results
  • one showing how to create a Scratch game for students
  • a reflection on a professional practice solving a personal situation
  • a look back at the month of September from an educator
  • a higher education teacher reflecting on practice as part of a project
  • growth and sophistication in the understanding of mathematics
  • digital citizenship and notice of an upcoming professional development event

Nowhere in my thinking is the concept of a “great” blogger which would imply that there might be others that aren’t so “great”.  In my opinion, that misses the point.  These come from well-minded individuals just wanting to share.  Who could ask for more?

Perhaps if you were blogging for a business and results were evaluated by some criteria, there may be a different approach.  But, that’s not this domain.  This domain belongs to professionals sharing their experiences, their stories, and their professionalism.  I think to try to apply a label like “great” can only stand in the way.  Would you be hesitant to click on this key…


…until it’s been vetted by others and proofread a zillion times?  Heck no, to steal Steven’s title – extend by failing.  Get it out there.  It’s not uncommon to find an issue after publishing and having to fix it.  Goodness knows, I’m the poster child for that.  Just ask my proofreading team.

There will be posts that you like and others that perhaps you don’t.  But, the key is that you made it.

For me, that’s what puts it over the top and why I continue to enjoy Teaching by the Bay.

Your thoughts?

OTR Links 10/27/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.