This isn’t quite as earth shattering as Chapter 2, but the personal reinvention continues with the end, finally, of my Manila blog and the beginning of my new space served up by James Farmer at Edublogs. I have mostly good things to say about my three-plus years with Manila, but I’ve just had Word Press envy for too long, and James was kind enough to shoulder all of the migration load for me. So, with any luck, in the next couple of days, all 4,955 pieces of content that have been created here since 2003 will be ported over. The RSS feed will stay the same, and I’m hoping there won’t be too much of a disruption. Fingers crossed.
And actually, this move offers up the perfect opportunity for me to take a little break from blogging. Unless something major happens, I’m going to turn off the computer for a couple of weeks and recharge my batteries. We’re off to Sweden for 10 days on Friday, and I’ve got two articles that I need to get working on as well as some other projects. As I’ve mentioned before, I have not felt like a very good blogger of late. It feels a bit stale for some reason, and while the conversations are still important, they’re feeling a bit redundant as well. I think I’m feeling a bit of Clarence’s angst when he writes about “seeing other people.” I too am finding the need to move beyond the “echo chamber” a bit, to keep learning about new things instead of revisiting the common themes. We need to extend this conversation, I think, ’cause I’m just becoming more convinced that schools and education aren’t going to change before society changes. To be honest, I’m looking forward to not checking the feeds for a while.
And the other thing is that I feel like this space is becoming way too much about me. (Ironic, huh?) I mean I know that I’ve been getting around more what with speaking and the book, but the offshoot of that is that I have less time to read deeply and blog thoughtfully. Doing a conference wrap is an easy substitute. I really want to stop writing about what I’m doing and focus more on what I find classroom teachers and students are doing. Stop trying to paint in broad strokes and focus more on the details. It may take until quitting day (May 15) for that to happen, but it’s a goal.
And finally, it was nice to get a faint signal from Steven Downes this week. I looked at the pictures from his isolated cabin up north and felt pangs of jealousy. That tells me something. And, as is typical, he wrote something that just resonated in perfect pitch:
I’m trying to find that place, you know, where I can have a meaningful life, where I can be completely engaged and committed and passionate, where I can matter and be important. These pictures will always be special to me, because they will always remind me that I can and sometimes do dare to hope and dream of being something more, and that there are, absolutely, some things worth dreaming about.
Amen to that.
So, Murphy willing, the blog reinvention will be in place shortly. My own reinvention, however, continues at a much more unpredictable pace. Back in a couple of weeks.
Wesley Fryer says
Will: Enjoy the trip and a well deserved break! I heartily agree that we must extend this conversation outside the blogosphere, which can often seem like an echo chamber. I’m confident you will be doing exactly that as you speak to many around the nation and globe, and more folks read your book. I think the key action steps are what you are doing and proposing: 1- Inviting more people to the ongoing conversation about teaching and learning taking place in the blogosphere, and 2- Showcasing the great work students and teachers are doing in the classroom, in part empowered by read/write web tools. I agree that society will continue to change much faster than schools will, but we can’t give up on them. The kids in them are too important! I am not sure any of us can fully appreciate the scale of change in publishing and idea sharing taking place in the era in which we are living. It is exciting to realize how many more people can and need to be invited into this conversation, and your work showcasing the successes as well as failures of teachers and students in the field is pivotal. We all need continual professional development to learn more and transform our own teaching and learning practices, to further engage kids and get them excited about acquiring literacy skills inside and outside of the classroom. I think this is what the conversation is all about, and you don’t have to look far in the real world of education to see how important it is that we draw many, many more people into the dialog.
Rob Wall says
Its great to have you in the WordPress-iverse, Will. Being able to leave a comment on your writing is indeed a pleasure. After many years of talking at the computer screen while reading you, I can finally put the words down where you can see them! (That “login to comment” process never worked for me – it disrupts the mental flow too much)
Enjoy your recharging period – we all need them periodically, and I feel like yours is long overdue. We all look forward to reading what you have to say when you get back. And commenting – oh yes, that will be good too!
Being very new to blogging it feels strange welcoming you to wordpress, but welcome none the less! In talking about taking the conversation outside the realm of existing bloggers, you have inspired me to see if I can get some RSS feeds on my schools intranet homepage. Giving a non-blogging audience the opportunity to read a blog or two whenever they fire up internet explorer. Enjoy the SmÃ¶rgÃ¥sbord!
Brian C Smith says
Will, enjoy your break. Just this morning I was glad to get out in the crisp, spring air (the sun actually peeked in a bit on upstate NY) with my daughter and remember that we are human and need to interact with the world.
Professionally, I have been reinvented over the last 7 months in my new role as an Instructional Technology teacher. I taught PE for 10 years and made a huge jump to technology. Through your blog and dozens of others I have reinvented myself. I now have several blogs (for several different purposes) and have turned about a half a dozen others towards the opportunities that blogging presents. One is a library blog that a library media specialist set up and within a week had students blogging by responding to questions from peers as well as the author of the book.