Monday, July 23, 2007

Reflections on Writing: Blogs

I am away this week with my CSETL Fellows reflecting upon my practice and finding a focus for the upcoming year. As always with this group, my thinking is pushed, I am asked wonderful questions, and my head is pounding. I am a bit better off than my colleague Julie who continues to refer to the bile rising in her throat - but not much better. Ahhh....cognitive dissonance! There is nothing like it!!

A large part of my focus this week is on using Web 2.0 tools to build a community of learners. I am posting on Grand-Rounds on how that work is going. A bigger part of the challenge for the week is that I must develop a plan for "publishing" my work in this arena. Clearly - I love to write and care deeply and passionately about writing. It is the formality and structure of writing for publication that is daunting.

And so - this week, I will be reflecting upon my own writing as I experience the ups and downs of a CSETL retreat.

One thing I focused on today was the use of blogs and wikis in education. I have identified three reasons why I don't seem to be having the success I envisioned when I began this process. One biggie is a lack of technical knowledge on the part of the users. The two others are somewhat combined - time and writing.

I've thought a great deal about my blogging process. When I first began blogging, I wrote everything in Word first, then transferred it over to Blogger. It was time consuming but I had a horrendous fear of mis-spellings!! Since then, I have become more comfortable with the tools available on Blogger (including spell-check) but also with leaving things in draft form.

As for ideas - they come to me often and I do keep a writer's notebook after reading about their power from Ralph Fletcher (if I could make one electronically I would be very, very happy!!). More often though, my posts come from something niggling in the back of my head that I just feel the need to get out. I rarely leave something in draft form and visit it later anymore - I am bit more comfortable in my skin now. In fact, after being challenged by Richard Strong last summer to write with my real voice (versus the one I thought people wanted to hear) - I have found my voice in blogging.

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