Academic Blogging for Identity Construction
First posted in Me2U on October 8, 2008
This post was first written for the mde605 course , and reviewing it again now (July 10, 2010), is intended to provide an example of why such archiving of posts is so significant.
Again, reviewing the blog post in 2014, yields further insights. I would fine-tune/extend my audience to include language teachers, ESL students, literacy, and foreign-trained professionals, based on the past few years of experience working with adult learners, new immigrants, and professionals seeking career transitions.
The process of identifying a business idea for me has been frustrating, as I am interested in continuing to work as a literacy educator, but am also trying to see what activities I want to do/can see myself doing that would fal under the category of professional learning, and what activities fall under the category of entrepreneurial activities. The spheres overlap, and this has been an interesting exercise for me to analyse what activities can lend themselves to consulting work, and which activities lend themselves to strengthening my consulting work, but in themselves are not “for profit” in the conventional sense.
“As a literacy educator, I wil strive to connect peoples and build bridges across the digital divides of the Internet that prevent lifelong learning.”
Educators will be using ICTs in classrooms worldwide, and will be able to continuously upgrade using professional learning spaces and web communities.
Literacy learners will have greater choices over technologies used for learning, and be offered greater opportunites for using a variety of ICTs to support their lifelong learning to participate as global netizens.
The vision is continuous, lifelong, and does not involve a sales forecast, make claims of superiority or elitism, and does not necessarily involve profits in the traditonal business sense.
I derive great satisfaction from sharing my explorations about technology with other educators, through workshops, posting and commenting on blogs of mentors and colleagues, participating in web communities, and giving Elluminate presentations. Demonstrating the use of appropriate technologies and sharing my findings, can lead to blogging for profit. But the amount of workshops I may do, the contacts that lead to consulting work, blog traffic, and the presentations all depend on my credibility as a literacy practitioner working in the field.
I imagine that educators’ work will extend far beyond the “classroom” to creating , nurturing and sustaining learning environments far beyond the ‘classoom’, to extend to online groups, networks of learners and professionals and collective activities of all of us.My follow-up:I absolutely agree that the widened scope of activity is a new reality as educators adopt ICTs within their conventional classrooms, and expand the learning activity beyond to online activity.
Comment received from Terry Anderson:
You note the value of your reputation and the way it is enhanced by your out-of classroom activities- also very true, but I think there is a growing need and market for mentors, critics and other support services which bare fruit in classrooms, but will also evolve to ways to create value and $$$ outside of classrooms
Within the past week, I have started a discussion online at bcliteracyforum.ca about web 2.0 technologies as a follow-up to an online discussion using Elluminate. I have also been introducing the use of blogging to learners in my English literacy classes.
Yet the realities of literacy instruction involves the very real existence of the digital divides: access, lack of knowledge, lack of skills, lack of contacts. In my own experience, courses are run with little or no computer technology, and the curriculum is designed for the lowest common denominator in terms of computer technology – there is a focus on learning outcomes that involves teaching activities that makes technology use optional. I want to address this attitude of complacency – this resistance – towards adopting appropriate ICT technologies, because if the use of ICT technology continues to be made optional by some schools and not others, for some literacy programs and not others, then the key communications competencies learners need to participate as netizens will not be the focus, leaving some on the wrong side of the digital divide, particularly those most vulnerable and marginalized. ICT skills and electronic communications, integrated into the other literacies, need to be the focus of instruction for the new literacies to be developed.
Also, many literacy instructors wish to become more familiar with the use of ICT technologies, starting with how they can use them within their own classrooms. The ICT training needs to begin in the classrooms, to provide both educators and their learners with basic computer skills first, then support for mixed-mode instruction, followed by online instruction. Starting with online courses for literacy learners and their instructors is unrealistic.
So this is why my mission is to bridge the digital divides for literacy learners and expanding learning opportunites so that they can extend beyond the classroom
My Revised Vision: (taking feedback into account)
Literacy educators and their learners will be using ICTs in classrooms worldwide, and will participate online as netizens and as lifelong learners.
I also agree that the need for mentors, critics, and techno-gurus is in high demand, and will be greater in future, and this is certainly an area I would like to explore further.
Acting consistently with my vision, I aim to set up and run my own showcase classroom in which I try out various technologies and test various teaching strategies, and then publish my ideas through a blog, and share my ideas with educators.