Friday, January 22, 2010

There's Always Tomorrow.

I am both excited and somewhat nervous to have joined a group called Blogger's Alliance. Thanks to Kelly Tenkely for starting this group. I joined to jumpstart my writing on this blog and to meet and talk with other educators. I keep reading about PLNs (personal learning networks) and want to explore this more.

But what have I gotten myself into? I have spent the last two hours reading some recent posts from members while simultaneously making a roast dinner, preventing my 3 yr old from breaking down his older sister's door, and finishing the laundry. I feel like I have walked into a class where I must have missed the first two weeks because EVERYBODY's blog seems so polished, so pretty, so perceptive. What I am doing wasting everyone's time here? Where are the other beginners?

Part of me wants to quietly slip out the back door, head to admissions and see if I can still enroll in "Tetris Revisited", but I'm going to stick around and see what happens. I know that since I have started reading blogs on education I have learned more and been more inspired than most of the traditional pro-d sessions I have attended. And from the posts I've read so far, I've stumbled upon not a group of beginning bloggers and tentative technologists like myself, but some very dedicated and talented teachers. I feel a bit like a kid in a candy store with a stomachache from trying to many new things, but can't wait to come back next week and do it all over again.

I see the purpose of this blog to clarify my thinking and progress on projects I am working on (online writing workshop, using voicethead, creating class blogs) and the role of our DL program with our district. If I'm going to ask my students to blog and be part of an active online community, I want to have experienced that personally. Not to mention having an immediate audience will get me off my procrastinator's duff. A theory I'm hoping will work with my students also.


  1. Jodie,
    I'm a beginner too! To quote a book I'm reading by Pema Chodron, I believe the trick is to "Start Where You Are." A blog is a process tool, and I know that I'm clarifying my own thoughts by engaging in the process. So I don't believe you can do it "wrong." Probably a feature your students will appreciate as well! :)

  2. It's nice to meet you and read your blog through the blogging alliance! I admire that you're even doing this with all that you have going on in your life!

    The thing that I keep telling myself about my blog is that I'm not doing it to pontificate or spout theory, I'm doing it as a resource for my teachers, and other classroom teachers who stumble upon it. I keep my focus to my audience. Some visitors will find it interesting, others will not. If I can connect with others who like it, and get something out of it, then great. If not, it's like life, I can't please everyone. So don't worry about trying to keep up with this one or that one, do what's right for you. That's being authentic, the most important thing, and what will engage with those who want to hear what you have to say.

    I look forward to reading more about how you're using VoiceThread. I truly think it's one of the most promising new tools out there with realistic application in the classroom.

  3. Fortunately, there are some beginners in our "club". I have had experience with the things you wrote about (like VoiceThread) in my classroom and it was easy to blog about our experiences there. Now I'm outside the classroom and I'm trying to write to a larger audience, I often find myself with writer's block.
    As I write this, I have supper going and three kids playing in the living room, so I had to chuckle when I read your post because I can relate sooo well. With the support that Kelly has put out there, though, I think we're going to make it...I hope;)

  4. Hi Jodie,
    I'm a beginner too - I just started last month and I am nervous too and wondering if anyone out there really wants to read what I am writing. However part of what I am doing is writing for myself as it helps me to sort out my ideas. I'm happy to walk on this learning journey with you. I just moved to Switzerland which means I have not yet managed to find anyone here who is able to give me support. That's another reason why I joined the Blogging Alliance. A lot of what I am writing about are just wonderings, sparked off by reading an article or watching a movie someone has recommended through Twitter. Actually Twitter has been a bit of a lifeline for me since moving here.
    Last week I tried to use VoiceThread with the Grade 4 students. I had all the students log in as one user, but had them work in small groups to try to make separate VoiceThreads. It was a bit of a disaster as comments kept appearing on other students VTs and several students lost their work when they tried to save. Perhaps I did this wrong. Perhaps I should have given each group their own log in - but that would have been a bit of a nightmare as it would have involved setting up new email accounts for each group. I'm still not sure how to go forward with this one but if you have ideas please let me know.
    I am looking forward to reading more of your blog posts!

  5. Hello Jodie,

    Don't be nervous about getting into the swing of things. We all blog when we have time and read and comment with what little time we have left. One of the big reasons the Alliance was formed was to support new bloggers. I had started and stopped multiple times before I decided to stick with it. I've learned more from these great teachers than I have in any EDU class. Feel free to email me with any questions you have. @TheNerdyTeacher

  6. Hi Jodie,
    I think it is really exciting that you've joined the Blogging Alliance. Belonging to a group like this will definitely provide you with the motivation to post more often, and you'll make so many new connections. Now, how do I go about getting you to use Twitter...

  7. Hi Jodie, I am so glad that you took the jump and joined us in the alliance. Trust me when I say you have something valuable to add to this conversation. The blog need not be polished or like anyone else's, that is what makes it uniquely yours and why we will all come back for more! If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, take a look at my archive...those early days were rough for me! If you ever get stuck or need an extra push let me know, I am happy to help!

  8. I thought I'd check my blog before settling down for a long winter's night of marking! Thank you all for your thoughtful, kind responses! Ann, I like what you said about not trying to please everyone. I'm just setting up my Voicethread project, so Tamra, your challenges are food for thought. It sounds like you are on quite an adventure!
    I'm looking forward to reading all of your blogs and trying my hand at commenting...but I must...resist...and start my marking. I guess there's always tomorrow! (This is all your doing you know Claire...but thanks for introducing me to the world of blogging. :))

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  10. To answer your question, you have gotten your self into a wonderful group. I,too, feel like a kid in a candy shop! We (you too) all have so many great things to share and a unique way of looking at things. I am a big fan of voicethread and creating class blogs by the way!
    (found some mistakes in my first comment so I deleted it and decided to try again) :)