Tonight and tomorrow Alan November and I will be together with our Seton Hall executive Ed.D. students for the last time to reflect on their semester of blogging, wiki-ing, Skype-ing etc. and to get them thinking about how to move forward with these technologies. I’ve been doing some reflecting on their work myself, feeling bad about not having enough time to provide a Ganley-esque experience for them in our mother blog and promising myself to rectify that next year (when I will supposedly have more time…) But I have to say that in general I’ve been really impressed by the work they’ve done on their own. I think I mentioned at some point that about a third of the cohort really took to the tools, another third managed to make a serious attempt at integrating them into their schools and practice while the final third struggled. I think I could have nurtured that last group a bit more, but I’m really not that surprised at the breakdown. I will say, however, without exception, these are potential superintendents that at least have a context for the conversation, which in many ways puts them ahead of the game.
The title of this post comes from one of the reflections from the class. Why blog?
One, I wanted to blog before it was assigned. It is novel way to communicate about things that capture my interest. Writing for science journals is an arduous process that may not end with a publication. Blogging leads to publication. Two, friends checked it out and considered it, though none commented to my blog. My guess is the public nature of the comments. However, they read it. Three, the design allows for posting articles that remain readily accessible. I use it for its server space. Four, personal evidence abounds that my writing style is different. I am writing to a wider audience and potentially unknown audience. I have improved my clarity. Evidence is found from my comparative writings. Colleagues have described my emails as cryptic. Emails are quick. They range from blunt to cryptic depending on my intent. Emails store and transmit information and ideas. Letters to my family and friends are subjective. Personal letters take time. There is emotion attached to the thoughts. My journals chronicle time and thoughts. I find value in writing beyond the demands of work and business. Blogging combines pieces of the previous three types of writing. Blogging is a unique form of writing. Finally, there are the interactions from other regular bloggers of Cohort IX who offer comments and questions that lead me to question or reconsider my posts. Technology involves time, money, energy and space. In education, technology is measured by the extent to it provides meaningful learning experiences. Blogging has meaning. Blogging is an investment worth the costs.
I hope to do some more synthesizing of the work in the near future…