Back at the keyboard

Regular readers will know that I’ve been away from this blog for a couple of weeks to celebrate the holidays and, quite frankly, to regain a sense of composure.

This blog was created sometime back around 2007 and like most blogs, it was a place where I decided to share my thoughts with others. I enjoyed doing it and, when the mood would hit, I would write something. Like most bloggers, I suspect, I kept a to-blog list of things that seemed interesting to me. I wasn’t regularly blogging – just when the mood hit.

It all changed around 2013 when Cyndie Jacobs and I took the lead on the ECOO side of the BIT Conference. We were asked to move to the conference to a new location and it was a challenge that we embraced. As we planned, we realized that we would need a good audience to cover the costs. In addition, we focused our attentions to just why someone would want to go to a conference and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t just to “learn stuff” – you can do that easily online but to be part of a community of learners.

I always use the example of sitting in the lobby of a conference hotel watching joggers come down singly or maybe in pairs and go for a jog. It seemed like a lonely thing and all that it would take to change that is to let people know that there would be a group going out at a particular time. That was a big part of our inspiration and we thought that it was important to build community with all of what we would plan for the conference. We were partnering with OASBO-ICT group that already had gone that route with their evening musical events. We turned everything into a community building thing and I used this blog as a place to broadcast everything about it. And, I did, switching from being a now and again blogger to a daily blogger.

I enjoyed doing it. It made me aware that I needed to be thinking and researching all the time. And blogging about it. You don’t knock it out of the park every time and often it’s experimental but it was fun and any blogger will tell you that there’s a real rush when someone comments or the analytics on your blog take off. People start following you and subscribing to posts. It’s a real rush.

In terms of the conference, I like to think that our efforts worked. For the two years that we chaired the ECOO side of the event, we turned everything we could into a social thing and the numbers in attendance really went up. It was so personally rewarding and Cyndie and I are still friends today.

When we turned the reins over, there was a surplus of funds and it was nice to come back the next year as a participant. In the meantime, I was left with this blog and I elected to continue with it. I had been sold on the concept of daily blogging and wanted to keep it up. I also decided somewhere along the line to have two “signature” posts – Friday with “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” and Sundays with “Whatever happened to …”.

It’s enjoyable and I like to think that my posts are mostly positive.

Then, this COVID stuff hit. I’ll admit that my mindset changed. I felt like I wanted to be negative and lash out at times…not that I could change the world but it would at least give me an outlet. You wouldn’t believe the negative posts that I’ve started and discarded just before I would click the Schedule button to have it go live the next morning. I will also be honest and let you know that I wasn’t happy feeling this way. It really did take a toll. I decided to hang up the keyboard for a bit and the celebrations surrounding Christmas and New Years’ seemed timely. I guess with so many years in education, we’ve all come to recognize this as an opportunity to recharge.

I didn’t leave things completely alone; I had a couple of quick posts with best wishes for the holidays and then a chance to analyse some data from This Week in Ontario Edublogs. It was doing this analysis that was helpful in reminding me that I actually enjoy doing this.

As well, for a couple of days, I sat down and decided that I would do some maintenance. Long time readers will recall that I changed to a dark theme a while back. I still like dark but realized that solid black was a challenge to me. Little things bug me so I changed the appearance with a bit lighter background. Those little specs of dust just showed up too clearly on a back blackground. I always have a screen wipe near me to clean the screen.

While at it, I went through and checked all of the links on the voicEd Radio Blog Roll. Some of the blogs that had made the show had gone away so I got rid of the dead links. I actually had a blogger with a misspelled name. I felt embarrassed; I actually do proofread but sometimes things do fall through the cracks.

So, about a week ago, I needed to make a decision. My decision was to get back to the keyboard and start blogging again. Monday morning at 5:00 things were back in operation. It feels pretty good to be back and I’d had a couple of weeks to recharge.

So, here we are. Let me say that I truly appreciate the fact that you’ve taken the time to read this. For that, I am grateful.

I’m looking forward to continuing.


4 thoughts on “Back at the keyboard

  1. Doug, I love that you’re back at blogging, but I also love how you took the break that you needed for you to recharge and reframe some of your thinking. Knowingly or not, I feel as though there’s Self-Reg embedded in this decision here. You inspired me to take a much-needed break, and I’m glad that I did. I’m also glad to be back to blogging, and am eager to blog today.

    Have a great weekend, Doug, and happy blogging!

    P.S. Loved hearing your blogging story! I didn’t know this before.


  2. Doug, it is truly remarkable that you have continued with your daily posts over all this time! The resources, perspectives, and connections that you provide to Ontario educators continue to be invaluable.

    The various effects of this pandemic continue to accumulate, and one of the most significant for educators must be the limited opportunities to connect in-person with their peers, such as those typically provided by EDcamps, conferences, and informal get-togethers. As you have referenced before, and referred to above, the social connections and in-between-session conversations are frequently the highlights of events such as the BIT Bring IT, Together! conference. While it will unlikely not completely stand-in for the traditional F2F opportunities, our conferencing platform for #vBIT21 on February 26 and 27 will provide participants with the opportunity to spontaneously self-assemble themselves for impromptu conversations of their own choosing. We are also looking to host an online social event in the evening, as has been the case since you and Cyndie chaired BIT in 2013.

    For any of your readers who are interested in submitting session proposals, the call for proposals form is readily accessible from the website.

    I look forward to reading your post tomorrow morning, and finding out what your next “Whatever happened to … ?” topic will be.


Please share your thoughts here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.