Whatever happened to …


… Solitaire?

The time was a long time ago.  We had just replaced the DOS versions of the principal’s computers with this new fangled Windows operating system.  In some quarters, there was huge push back.  DOS was great; you could get the job done without your fingers ever leaving the keyboard.

Now, there was this mouse thing or Trackpoint that needed to be pushed around in order to function.  The world had come to an end.  I still remember a comment that if we wanted Macintosh computer accessories, we should have just bought Macintosh computers.  Productivity would suffer.  What’s the big deal; why did we have to do this?

Believe it or not, the big saviour was a couple of little games that came with the computer.  Solitaire and Minesweeper.  Of all the things that sold the use of the rodent, these were the best.  It also was a great way to show how to minimize an open window when a visitor showed up.  After all, we wanted to make sure that everyone knew that we were on task.  In classroom computers, it was a likewise controversial move.  “We’ve got to get it off the images.  Students will never get on task!”  The best part was the display on the screen when you managed to win the game.  Oh, and the sound effects.

Then, there was the inevitable comparisons of the Windows version of Solitaire with the Macintosh version that some enjoyed on home computers.  Some times, you just can’t win.

With Windows 8, the Solitaire game, as we knew it, was gone.  Fortunately, with a quick Google, er, Bing search, you can find that there are plenty of versions of the original game to download and install.  And, you could play it online too if withdrawal got that bad.  But, if you poke around, you’ll see that Solitaire is actually available for Windows 10 as part of the Microsoft Solitaire Collection in the Microsoft store.

It’s not your, what they call “Classic” game.  It’s greatly enhanced; you play it full screen, there are many new options and, if you log in via the Xbox connection, it becomes social.  For a few bucks, you too could be playing the Premium version.

I suspect that many students these days opt out of installing Solitaire.  The gaming world has changed with more options like first person shooter games to while away the time online.

Within the past week, things got exciting again for Solitaire players.  Microsoft announced that they were making the Solitaire collection available for Android and iOS.

Now it’s your turn.

  • Do you remember the original, classic Solitaire game for Windows?
  • What’s your preference – classic Solitaire or the new refresh?
  • Do you have a preference?  Klondike, Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid, TriPeaks

Please share them via comment below.

Do you have an idea or thought that would be appropriate for my “Whatever happened to … ”?  They can all, by the way, be revisited here.

Please visit this Padlet and add your idea.  I’d love for it to be an inspiration for a post!

Hour of Code 2016


The Hour of Code was started a few years ago to provide an opportunity for more students (and teachers) to get exposure to coding and programming.  It’s been an overwhelming success and here we are at the brink of Hour of Code 2016 held in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week, December 5-11.

The initiative has seen some pretty substantial levels of success…

  • there are more languages and robots to code with today than ever before
  • teachers who might never have ventured into this area are giving it a shot
  • in Ontario, there are many TLLP projects with their roots in the Hour of Code
  • it’s not a strange thing to see a Computer Science club at schools where inquiring students go beyond the hour
  • coding has come a long way from the days of learning commands and evolved to block programming
  • and I’m sure that you can add your observations to the list

The mother ship, if you will, is the Hour of Code website and the links to rationale and many activities.

There is lots of discussion about the “why” to the Hour of Code.  One that you hear constantly is that there are 200,000 technical jobs unfilled in Canada.  If you need that as inspiration, go for it.  Somehow, I think that the Grade 2 student doing a bit of Scratch isn’t quite ready for it yet.  As I was out this morning, I saw a big tube television left at the side of the road.  You know the ones that dimmed the lights in your house when you turned it on?  I have no doubt in my mind that the owner thought this might well be the last television that they’d ever buy.  Technology is such a fickle partner.

But it’s the deliverables that were important.  A huge screen let them see ever detail.  The audio was stereo.  Awesome.  The analogue signal pulled in by antenna was probably the best they’d ever seen.  Try to find something with the same specs on sale in a store today!

Ditto for learning code.  If you just focus on the code, you’ll miss the point.

Check the deliverables.

Student

  • student can learn some new commands
  • student can make an object move on the screen on command
  • student might even get the computer to make a sound or play a song

Teacher

  • students work collaboratively to solve problems
  • students explain their thinking and explain/debate the logic with other
  • students take a big problem, break it into its component parts, and solve it
  • students ask “what happens if I do this?”
  • students demand “what next?”

Every subject area would die for these opportunities.

Hopefully, everyone will be involved in the Hour of Code in their classrooms at whatever level works.

Please don’t consider it 60 minutes to check off to say that “we did it”.  Please do consider that this is the launchpad for something pretty amazing.  It’s there that you make a difference and set students off to benefit from all that coding offers.

Once again, I’ve cobbled together a collection of resources that I’m happy to share.

Hour of Code 2016

Good luck.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s the first Friday of December.  It won’t be long now.

Check out some of the great reading that I enjoyed recently from Ontario Edubloggers.


Paper Twitter: Why and How to Teach Digital Technologies with Paper

Royan Lee suggests a way to teach about digital technologies, specifically Twitter in this post.  He also shares a number of resources for this in his Google Drive account.

It’s an interesting approach that undoubtedly will allow to teach the basics and keep the focus of those learning rather than all the distractions that can come from the real thing.

The purpose of Paper Twitter is not only to deconstruct how the technological aspects of the social media machine works, but also to tone down the figurative volume so that the point of it as a personal, social networking tool can be grasped through, well, social interaction, not initial solitude behind a screen.

I just hope that people don’t get sticker shock when they move on to the real thing.


Recognizing a Reluctant Writer in the Mirror

Jen Aston turned me to this post from Annette Gilbert.  It was a reflection and action stemming from a professional learning opportunity for teachers called “Inspiring Reluctant Writers”.  Part of the learning was to have the group create their own blogs to share reflections.  It’s an interesting approach and she had a couple of questions moving beyond the workshop.

Those are some interesting thoughts and it would be a nice followup to see if she gets answers to those questions.

Hopefully, the blogs extend beyond the course and we have a whole new batch of bloggers pushing the profession.


Effective Facilitating and Blogging

I had mentioned this post by Diana Maliszewski earlier, a person I still have to copy and paste her last name to get it right.  The latter part of the post dealt with her analysis of her own blog in response to a post I’d made of my own earlier.  This time, I took some time to think about the first part of the post where she’s part of a workshop from ETFO called the Presenter’s Pallette.

With the growth of the use of teacher-coaches and consultants helping educational systems grow, it sounds like a fabulous opportunity for her.  Stepping back a bit, it looks like a great opportunity for all teachers.  Even if the ultimate career goal isn’t in that area, the skillset can’t help but benefit any classroom teacher.  Hopefully, it’s made available for others to attend.


Every Day Is Unique

I don’t think that you can argue much about the title of this post from Rola Tibshirani.

Worthwhile of note are her thoughts about growth mindsets – a topic that was really in vogue for a while but seems to have dropped from the radar as of late.  It’s too bad because that’s a concept that’s worth hanging on to and building success from.

Included in the post are numerous quotes and ideas including a Google Presentation.

You definitely need to put this on your “must read today” list.


Do we see poverty in our schools?

Thoughts and sentiments about this are very prevalent at this time of year.  There’s a bigger message in this post from Paul McGuire though worth keeping in mind.

Now, I don’t see this as good enough.  I have been very fortunate to work in a high poverty section of our city – for me this is a first.  I am ashamed to say that I really didn’t know the extent of the poverty in these communities in our own very wealthy city.

For some, it’s a way of life 365 days a year.  A friend of mine notes that it’s more noticeable in the winter since you notice more when kids wear the same clothes day after day and hunger is more apparent.  It’s not as noticeable in the warmer weather when t-shirts and shorts are the order of the day.

It’s something to keep your eyes open for – even if you’re not teaching in a “high poverty section” of your community.  It’s everywhere.

Thanks, Paul, for keeping our eyes open.


Amaryllis Thoughts

I had to smile when I read this post from Kristi Keery Bishop.  I only ever had one class in my entire teaching career with a window.  It was an Accounting class and there were two windows in the back and our caretaker was a bit of a green thumb type person.  Sure enough, on the ledge, he had some plants that enjoyed the sun and thrived.  My regular classroom had no such luck.  It makes all the difference in the world.  The sad part was that being an early arriver and late leaver, there were entire days in the winter that I never saw the sun during the week.

Anyway, Kristi turns her amaryllis experience into an analogy for professional learning.

My PD thoughts turned to my amaryllis.  While I was focused on watching the stem (not) grow to great heights, I completely forgot about what might be going on under the soil.  Maybe my amaryllis has spent it’s energy these last ten days spreading roots so that when the stem does start to grow tall, the bulb will be strong enough to support the height.  You need strong roots before you make great surges in growth.

I think it’s a terrific analogy in our world of accountability where deliverables from PD matter so much.  How many times have we completed an application to speak that starts with “By the end of this session, participants will be able to …”  Maybe it’s more realistic to that “By the end of this session, I will have planted the seed for participants to be able to … on their own”


RETWEET OR SHARE?

Donna Fry shares some of the thinkers that influence her –

Other curators help me sort through the unfathomable amount of information on the web.  Stephen Downes, Doug Belshaw, and Audrey Watters are examples of thought leaders who filter, curate and share information regularly.  I know that there will be value in their curations.

But the real message was her being taken to task for retweeting a message.  I think that it’s part of the consideration that we all need to understand.  Hopefully, nobody retweets or likes a message based solely upon a title.

I don’t totally agree with her assertion

An algorithm, which you have no control over, determines what content reaches your eyes.

I suppose it’s true if you’re a passive reader of content and don’t aggressively look for the good stuff.  But, I would challenge it at least based upon my personal experiences.  I like looking for content on my own, from original sources, based specifically on topics of interest to me generally and for what I’m currently curious about.  I make no bones about it; if you follow my sharing and my blog posts, they are definitely tainted by my foci.  I make no claims about sharing both sides to any story or concept.  I may do so in my mind but that never goes public.

The topic is of particular importance right now with stories of social media getting their houses in order after accusations of phony stories arising during the recent US elections.  Will it make online reading a better place?  Probably a bit better but there’s so much and so many sources publishing daily that the best thing you can do is learn how to fine tune your BS detector.  More than ever, the skills of a knowledgeable teacher-librarian should be in high demand in any school or school system that wants to consider themselves best of breed.


Thanks, again, to the wonderful Ontario Edubloggers above for sharing their thoughts and insights again.  Please take the time to click though, read their entire thoughts and then drop a comment or two.  Or, if Donna’s blog post doesn’t scare you again, retweet or share their writing.

Sort of a post


One of the topics that I always found a challenge to teach was that of sorting.  I struggled with learning the concept myself as a student and I always found it difficult to make it tangible and visible for students.  

I did all the chalk and talk things that I could think of.  But the best way that I could demo it off-computer was with a deck of cards numbered 1-10.

I put 10 chairs in a row, side by each, and then one off to the side.  I had 10 students sit in the chairs in random order with their numbered cards and had them demonstrate sorting based upon the number they were holding. 

The goal was to develop an algorithm where the 10 people holding the cards were to move and put themselves in order from 1-10 or 10-1.

The rules were:

  • only one person could stand at a time
  • there were two things that could be discussed 
  • am I bigger (smaller) than you?
  • go sit in the chair over there
  • come back and sit here
  • are we in order?

Our starting point was always the Bubble Sort.  Technically, that was all that I needed to address the expectations from the curriculum.

A3.4 create a sort algorithm (e.g., bubble, insertion, selection) to sort data in an array;

From the Ontario Curriculum Grades 10 to 12 – Computer Studies.

But, you can’t stop with just one.  I also used to talk about a Selection Sort and we would talk about the difference in algorithms and ended up comparing each for efficiency.  A final kick at the sorting cat was the Quick Sort.  There is an increasing level of sophistication in the coding involved.

That led to a good discussion about why you might want to choose one over the other.  It also was a good rationale for building a personal library of algorithms.  Sorting is used so frequently, why should you start from scratch every time you need a sort?  Bringing in something that you know works and modifying it for the purpose of the program makes so much sense.

Recently, Alfred Thompson shared his thoughts in a post “How Fast Can You Sort a Deck of Cards?”  Working with a deck of cards is certainly more aggressive than my cards 1-10.  You have to deal with the concept of Jokers, are Aces high or low?, do you also sort by colour?, do you also sort by suit?  It’s a scenario that can lead to a great deal of discussion.  I like it.

Embedded in Alfred’s post is a link to a resource demonstrating various Sorting Algorithms.

This is fabulous.  If you want to see how a Bubble Sort works, just select a cell and watch it do its thing.  I think the best demonstration is the Reversed data set.  There, every piece of data is out of order so you get the full effect.

But that’s just the academics of it.

In the top left corner, there’s a button to “Play All”.  This is addictive as you watch all of the sorts with the various data set permutations do their thing.  This truly is the beauty of computer science.  Beyond this, it answers the question of why there are different sorting algorithms.  You’ll notice on first run that they don’t all finish at the same time.  Some algorithms are definitely better than others.  Code demonstrating each sort is available under the chart.

Learning how to write code to sort can be a challenge.  But, it’s something that you have to do at some point if you’re going to be a programmer.  

I just found this resource a wonderful way to demonstrate different algorithms and a visual rationale for each.

It’s a definite keeper.  Thanks, Alfred for turning me to this resource.

#ourlearningspace


Something very interesting happened over the weekend.

It started with my Friday post of “This Week in Ontario Edublogs“.  One of the blogs that I had read recently was Peter Cameron’s post “My Transformed Classroom“.  He had taken a 360 degree video that highlighted the various things that contribute to the learning environment for his students and himself.  It was an interesting glimpse inside what appears to be a very active learning space.

Stepping back, one of the activities that my Computer Science university class did after their practice teaching assignments was an around the room discussion about what teaching teenagers was like and inevitably the discussion would be about the environment of the classroom they visited.  The discussion was interesting on two fronts.  First, none of them would believe me when I talked about the learning habits and interests of the average teenager.  The first time I taught the course, I really struggled with this.  Nobody would believe me and I still remember the first debriefing – “We get it now, sir”.  I came to understand their context; they’re just spent four or more years at university and were familiar with the lecture, the lecture hall, the computers nailed to the desktops, the wide open internet access, the ability to install whatever software they needed, etc.  This led nicely to the second discussion where they would talk about what a secondary school computer science classroom actually looked like.  Some resembled the university but the majority were considerably more student-centred in design and arrangement.  Some students returned with pictures of what the environment was and all of this led to an invigorating discussion about classroom design and just what it might look like when they finally got their own classroom.  All they needed was to get hired and then get themselves some funding.

OK, so back on point.

I had mentioned in my post that Peter’s classroom was an example of what might be and that it would be interesting for more educators to share what it looks like in their digs.

I had every intention of creating my own blog post about the idea I floated that

“Someone should start a challenge to have teachers reflect on classroom design by showing what they’re doing.  You just need something to record video and then upload it to YouTube.  You could even call it a Classroom Design Challenge.”

but Peter beat me to it.  With a Twitter message, he challenged anyone who cared to read and participate.

Fortunately, he had tagged me in the post.  I was away from the computer at the time and so just retweeted it but it was later that I got involved and tagged the mandatory five others.

I tried to tag some people from different teaching realities and also those who might be liable to actually participate.

Peter wrote a blog post of his own outlining his thoughts and the rules of the game.  It’s a good read – #ourlearningspace.  I hope that you click through and read his thoughts and enjoy his video again.

I think that it’s important to note that there’s no right answer to this.  If enough people buy into the concept and contribute, then readers might be able to cherry pick ideas for their own classroom design pursuits.  And, hopefully, instructors at a Faculty of Education could use it when they talk about classroom environment design and what is actually doable.  

As I write this post on Sunday morning, there are already folks who have bought in and are using the hashtag.

Click here to see the discussion and please take a moment to participate.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Happy Black Friday, folks.  How many are you reading this on your phone while waiting in the cold in line for some sort of deal?

Me neither.  When you’ve got great thoughts from Ontario Edubloggers, why would you want to do anything else?

Read on to catch some of the posts that I read recently.


My Transformed Classroom

This is something that doesn’t happen often enough.  Not necessarily the “transforming” part but taking a picture, sharing it, and reflecting on the success and use of whatever you’ve put together.  It’s definitely much easier if you’re the only teacher using the room but it can be done.  Someone should start a challenge to have teachers reflect on classroom design by showing what they’re doing.  You just need something to record video and then upload it to YouTube.  You could even call it a Classroom Design Challenge. I know that Faculties of Education could use that so well.  And, it’s something that any teacher can use to make their own environment better.

Thanks to Peter Cameron for showing off his digs.  It looks really rich.

How does your room stack up to this?


Coding in 2004 – Looking back to move forward…

I love this reflection from Brenda Sherry about her first steps into coding dating way, way back.  Of course, it didn’t go back, back, back as far as Peter McAsh was kind enough to mention on Twitter to the days when he and I were teaching programming as first year teachers.  It’s interesting to reflect on the evolving use of the tools that we have to work with students.  Brenda offers some advice…

My biggest advice to teachers, in this time where many voices are telling us that we must have coding put into the elementary curriculum, would be to take the freedom you are given with our Ontario curriculum and innovate your own examples to go along with overall expectations!  I’m so glad that I didn’t wait and many other teachers like the ones at Quest and ECOO (BIT) are not waiting either.  Don’t wait….Innovate!

It’s good advice.

I’ll tag on some more advice.  Don’t wait until the next conference to hear classroom success stories or some speaker who is trying to get rich by doing the circuit repeating the same old story.  Coding or programming doesn’t require huge amounts of learning and expensive tools or the advice of someone who claims to be an expert.  It just requires inquiry.  There are plenty of interesting starting points; we’re coming up to the 2016 Hour of Code and you’re about to be swamped with resources.  Pick one, give it a try, turn the controls over the students and just be prepared to ask questions “What would happen if you did this?” or “Can you make it do that?” and step back.  You know the curriculum you need to cover; students have the inspiration.  What more is needed?


Thoughts prompted by Andreas Schleicher’s (OECD) Keynote

When you can’t go to a conference, there are a couple of good ways to get the message in other ways.  Sometimes content is live streamed, sometimes presenters share their slide decks, sometimes people write blog posts to share their thoughts.

That’s what Heidi Siwak did for this keynote address.

She shared a question that she asked…

I asked one question grounded in conversations I have had with numerous educators.  We know change is needed, however current timetables and school structures allow only token changes.   I wanted to know what interesting timetables he had seen in his travels.

I found the comment of “siloed subjects” an interesting observation.

It begs the question “If we have to have XX number of minutes a day in Mathematics or English or Physical Education” as proclaimed from the mount, are we doing it wrong?


STEAM Job descriptions for Curriculum Planning

Best. Idea. Ever.  I used something like this years ago when I taught Computer Science.  I would share job offerings or descriptions with students to answer the question “When are we ever going to use this?”

Deborah McCallum brings the concept to a wider audience.  i.e. everyone.

In my quest to make learning relevant for students, I have begun to look at job postings for S.T.E.A.M. related work, and think about ways that I can apply them to the curriculum. There are a great number of possibilities that crop up when we consider how our curriculum can be interpreted through the lens of a real job.

Here’s an excerpt from a job posting where she’s highlighted the sorts of skills that would make a candidate successful for the job.  (Read her post for the complete context)

Why wouldn’t you have a bulletin board highlighting jobs that require specific skills?

Why wouldn’t curriculum planning teams use this as a resource when buying or creating resources?

It’s an idea that you can use immediately.


Overcoming “Test Mystique”- My Principles For Mathematics Assessment

Part of the frustration of students and educators in Mathematics is the mindset that there’s only one right answer.  Textbooks reinforce the notion with the answer key.

This may be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when searching for success in the Mathematics classroom.  Matthew Oldridge takes on the topics and offers six things that can help overcome the concept of “Test Mystique”.  It’s all good stuff.

Now, if he could only rework the concept of the standardized test…


5 Ways to Use Explain Everything in Math

There are a lot of people who really see the value in the “Explain Everything” application.  You really get a sense of its power when you see it in action and it can inspire some great ideas.  That’s the concept behind this post from Lindsay Leonard.

What a great example of using the application to solve a real problem with a strong student voice!

Doesn’t that just inspire you to give it a shot?

What’s nice about this concept is that it doesn’t have to be the next big three hour epic.  In a minute and a half, this student did a wonderful job of explaining.


I know that I say it every week at the end of these posts but what wonderful thinking and ideas shared by Ontario Edubloggers.  I hope that you can find time to click through and enjoy all the original posts.  There’s some really wonderful things to enjoy.

Make sure I know about your blog.  Fill out the form at the site above to get added.  And, if you’ve got a great post that should be featured here, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Starting or reflecting on a blog


I love these types of posts.  I’m certainly not new to the concept of blogging but advice like this wasn’t available when I started.  Blogging has become part of many people’s way of thinking, reflecting, organizing, remembering, promoting, and selling.  The selling part is an integral part of successful businesses and there’s lots of advice available for them too.

I’m not starting a blog or starting a new blog, but I still think it’s an interesting exercise to reflect on an existing blog with metrics like you see in a post like this.  “5 Things You Need To Know Before Starting a Blog“.  After all, don’t we want to be happy with what we’re doing?  I know that I do.

I’ll take the “5 Things” from this post and see how I think I fare.  And, if you have a moment or two, please comment and let me know if I’ve got it right.  If you’re a blogger yourself, I challenge you to analyse your own efforts.

1. Having a plan is essential for making your blog a success

I’ll admit that I didn’t have a plan when I started.  I was in a workshop at MACUL where the presenter was extolling the value of blogs as the 21st writing tool for students.  It seemed to make sense at the time so I started.  Very slowly I started.  It was tough to come up with ideas at first.  Then, I realized that I was doing it wrong.  I wasn’t a traditional student where the teacher would lay out a topic and individuals or groups of students would write about that topic.  I had to come up with ideas on my own.  Once I realize that, blogging became easier.  Then, the light bulb went on.  I needed to have quick and easy information about a resource.  In the past, I would have had to start searching and relearning.  But, I had already done the research and blogged about it.  I went back to the post, re-read it to refresh myself and I was good to go.  That moment has stuck with me ever since and remains the number one piece of inspiration today.  I may not need the information right now but maybe some day…  I now have a plan.  I’ve always learned by writing as my reinforcement.

2. Your blog is more likely to succeed if it is social

I like to think that I do this right.  It’s posted here; I try to make sure that it gets posted at 5am daily and is automatically sent to Twitter to let the world know about it.  I have learned the value of scripting so immediately, it’s cross posted to Facebook.  I also share it to Google+ and I have a Pinterest Board as well.  I supposed that it might result in increased readership but the real value for me is that it can generate comments and thought from others.  I also like it when my ideas are challenged or confirmed.  The real challenge is staying on top of things.

3. Content is king!

In the beginning, I tried to have a very narrow focus of ideas.  Quite frankly, that became difficult to maintain and come up with variations on a theme on a regular basis.  I think that’s the death knell for many would-be bloggers.  There was a moment that I thought – why do I need to focus on just one topic?  Why not write about whatever comes to mind.  That turned me loose to write about anything that caught my interest and I live/blog by that mantra today.  It released me to try and experiment with various things.  It also enabled me to do regular posts that I enjoy like “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”, or “Whatever happened to …” or “Response to Spammers” or “Interviews”.  It also reinforced the notion that blogging doesn’t have to be a painful writing exercise, it can be fun.

4. You may have to learn basic Search Engine Optimization

I probably don’t do this very well.  I do enter categories for each blog post and I try my best to come up with a good title.  I try to use words with each post that are descriptive and get to the point that I’m trying to make.  Does Google like me?  I’m not sure.  That’s about the extent of what I do myself.  But, I have good friends.  People like @NoelineL, @avivaloca, @vickyloras, @DavidFifeVP, @jen_aston, @ProjectPupil and others who regularly reshare my posts.  That’s the best optimization a person could want.  I respect their efforts and, by inheritance, the efforts of their networks to maybe decide to click over and read the post themselves.

5. Relationships matter

Relationships do, in fact, matter.  That may well be the number 1 personal benefit.  I enjoy it when folks take the time to comment or retweet a reference to a blog post.  I’ve mentioned many times how lonely education can be.  Social media and the connections/relationships that it affords is something that education has wanted forever.  I sit back and am humbled with the relationships that I’ve made over the years and can’t help but thank social media for being that big enabler.  There’s something so impressive when you go to a conference and immediately strike a conversation with someone you’d never make a connection without the impact of social media.

I think that these five are a great start but there’s a few more that I can add.

6. Commit to posting regularly

How many blogs have 1 or 2 blog posts and then stop?  Or you wait for months for the next sharing of thoughts from someone?  If you’re going to be successful, you need to be regular.  Whether it be daily, weekly, commit to a schedule.  It sounds difficult until you actually do it.  Those that care know that it doesn’t have to be perfect or the definitive word.  I think that’s part of the educator’s mindset that can be a blocker.

7. It doesn’t have to be in print

If you didn’t take keyboarding in Grade 9, never fear.  Typing a blog is but one way.  If you have a phone or tablet, create your own blog using audio/video media.  It can be your source of content if keyboarding isn’t your thing.  You just can’t easily correct mistakes.

8. Take risks

Blog about something you’re just learning about.  You don’t need to be an expert to have an opinion.  And, being wrong can be a great way to start a conversation.  (or so I’ve heard)

9.  Reciprocate

If someone is good enough to drop by your blog, visit them back.  There are absolutely wonderful thought sharers who do a great job.  Just like you appreciate the comments, thoughts, or analytics on your blog, they do on theirs as well.  Looking for a place to start?  Try Ontario Edubloggers.

10. Look for a niche not already done

Continuing on the thought of Ontario Edubloggers, why not look for something that nobody has done.  For me, I’ve alway had a list of my favourite blogs available on this blog.  That list became pretty big and yet I wanted to continue to share links to other blogs.  I stumbled onto Livebinders and saw an immediate use.  Sure, I could have had a big list but visit this list and you can read for hours without ever leaving the site.  Or use Diigo to create a post automatically of what you’re reading and sharing like my OTR Links?

There you have it.  My current reflection and thoughts about blogging.  Thanks to Lifehack and Dmytro Spilka for the original post.

What are your thoughts?  Do I have myself analysed correctly?  What about your own thoughts about blogging.

Please share below.