About reading and blogging …

At the Bring IT, Together conference, I had breakfast with the Kings – Max, Alanna, and Tim where we solved all of the ills of the world.  It’s always a treat when that happens.

As I was planning my agenda for the day, I had lamented inwardly that there were no sessions dealing with blogging.  Maybe it’s passé or doesn’t have the glitz that the other things do.  It’s too bad because I’ve always been a big believer.  I’ve been an off and on blogger since before the 21st Century label came along.  Plus, it doesn’t require a special grant or purchase and then software installation.

Related is the whole concept of using social tools to stay on top of things.  Thinking about this took me back to Bring IT, Together 2013 where I did a session on Social Reading.  While some of the resource referenced have, sadly, passed on, the basic premise remains the same.


Since that time, I still believe in all of the above and I’ve made this blog a repository for all things – my personal thoughts and the readings that I do.

Anyway, back on topic.  I attended Alanna’s session “Process and Portfolio:
Digital sanity savers for tired teachers” not knowing what to expect.  Even though I had the link to her presentation, I held off skipping to see how the story ended and just enjoyed being by myself for an hour listening to her.

I had half-expected a lecture on the value of the teacher-librarian in the school but that wasn’t to be here.  Of course, an Alanna session couldn’t go by without making that reference and she didn’t disappoint.  We did a Kahoot! session to set the stage a bit, having people reflect on their practice, and then Alanna went through some of the tools that she uses.  Even for that alone, it’s worth taking a look at her slide deck at the link above.

Anyway…she did get to blogging and actually spent considerable time talking about its value from her perspective using it with students.  It was great.

Two thumbs up.

There was one slide that really hit the mark with me.


Obviously, this was designed with students in mind.  Or was it?

The length of post was interesting.  Let it not be lost on you that you’ve already scrolled down if you’ve read this far.  It reminds me of every assignment I ever gave.  It always generated two queries.

  • Does this count?
  • How long does it have to be?

I always gave the educationally correct answer.

  • Yes
  • As long as it needs to be

Both of which always generated groans.

I had her recommendation bouncing around my head this morning during my personal reading.  With the exception of the history of Unix video which is an hour long and will be addressed later, I found that I’m more likely to keep attention and stick to stories that are short and get to the point quickly.  Not necessarily one screen short, but two or maybe three screens.

The longer stories get bookmarked for later reference but there’s something about reading just a single message in a screen or two.  You may have to account for advertising if you’re not using an ad blocker.  But, I do find myself abandoning those long, rambling stories or marking them to be read later.

Maybe it’s time to take a journalism course to understand why, but for this moment in time, I’m totally onside with her recommendations.


OTR Links 11/14/2018

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