Reflections on Posting and Blogging
Jo’s blog post about blogging and her question about whether one should blog or not, and Al’s follow-up comments has got me thinking.
Here is the link to their discussion:
I prefer to blog when I have something to say, when I am working through ideas and lookng for feedback from others. I don’t tend to blog for blogging sake, to announce to the public my inner musings on any or every topic. It might be a waste of space on the virtual page, it might be premature, undigested.
The very fact that you leave a lasting virtual fingerprint should make one pause long enough to consider whether your personal thoughts approximately formulated and open to review are ready to pass into the public domain or to be passed to a group of peers.
For example, there has been a thought niggling in the back of my mind about the role of strategic planning in my professional life. The process of applying the principles of planning (mission statement, values, and identifying a marketable “product” (the networked educator) has tremendous implications for individual educators. (I was going to say academics, but that word restricts the scope of activities educators engage in)
The management and planning over one’s own “Brand name” involves careful selection of the types of discussions one engages in, and the cultivating of a network of social contacts, and decisions about when and what to blog/post for maximum effect to accomplish goals. Identifying the goals and steps to take consistent with the vision (an assignment done in 603) could be an alternate assignment rather than requiring a business plan several of us will never implement after the course finishes.
This process of seeking to promote and form connections over the blogosphere, and the process of effectively building and refining an academic career as a researcher, instructor, author, or contributor should involve strategic planning. The textbooks we have in this course do not speak to the student-as-infopreneur; it speaks to administrators and entrepreneurs, to the status quo.
However, as the connectivist course is amply demonstrating, making a name for oneself will occur in the blogosphere, in the open arena of ideas. Who links to whom, who read whose blogs, whose courses are promoted…what of all this? I need the management and planning skills of an info-preneur, not the skills of those engaged in small business or working in academic departments.
For those of us in this course who seek to be educators, the business planning has some application, but if taken as an exercise in which individual grad students can choose to apply the learning from this course to their own professional circumstances – as infopreneurs, a lot more in depth posting would occur.
I am not an entrepreneur, and the exercises in the course are likely an exercise of fiction for me. While it provides me with a greater appreciation of the thinking process of business types, my heart is really not into it.
I work in the field of adult literacy, where an upgrade to MS Word 2007 from 2003 can disrupt learners who do not have discretionary incomes to afford to upgrade. The digital divide is a reality I work in, need to account for. The traditional education system (residential schools) has scarred generations of First Nations learners, and account for most of the learners in the classrooms I teach in. I am attempting to introduce technology for holistic learning.
I am struggling to introduce technology and the web within the learning context, and this involves a reformulation of my professional learning goals. On one end, there are networks I can tap in to, and share ideas, and present my ideas. The BC Literacy Forum is one such network. But my concern is that for me much of the business planning involves making assumptions about individuals’ learning/working contexts that do not match reality.
I guess a learner’s silence on the blogs and forums is due to a lack of relevance, and not because they have nothing to say. Perhaps they have a lot to say, but like my literacy learners, feel their private ideas are not what public others want to hear.