Shoulders of Giants – Alan Parkinson – @GeoBlogs
I confess to not being a new blogger. I’m an old blogger in several respects… I’ve been blogging a long time, and I’m old.
I started blogging in 2002 and ran a CPD session on it for colleagues in Norfolk back then: the first time I’d stood up in front of my peers.
My online user name of @GeoBlogs dates from 2003, and a project that gained funding from the Royal Geographical Society to blog about the geography of the everyday – I’m still going eleven years later. I’m convinced a bad pun on ‘Joe Bloggs’ made it stand out.
I use my numerous blogs to share what I do in the classroom – I’ve blogged entire GCSE courses, schemes of work, field trips, inspections and the changing fortunes of my long teaching career. They are my reflection, my performance management documentation and my portfolio, and have led to connections with literally (and actually) hundreds of colleagues.
Winston Churchill said that ‘the only way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas’ and together with others, I have more chance of coming up with a good idea to balance the more questionable ones. When I stand in a classroom, I stand on the shoulders of giants too numerous to name. There wasn’t one lesson I taught last week that didn’t have an element gained from someone else’s generosity.
So, to pull together a moral for this post (as one might with a spur of the moment assembly that you remembered about at the last minute…)
- follow and read the blogs of other practitioners – new and old
- write up an idea for your subject association’s journal – they are looking for content all the time, and seeing your name in print will do wonders for your self-esteem
- take the message of Clay Shirky’s book ‘Cognitive Surplus’, which discusses the potential of our free time: sharing/blogging/writing is how I use my free time – everyone has the time to start sharing using a familiar tool, and starting small
- there are many ‘rooms’ online and you can’t be in them all… choose to blog, or build a Facebook page, make a Flickr album, or curate a Pinterest board and focus on it for a defined period each week
- if you use someone else’s idea, thank and acknowledge them. My students are familiar with me saying: ‘I got these pictures/this idea from my friend ‘x’…. (Image: Coins by Flickr user reway2007 and shared under Creative Commons license)