When I first started blogging at the Drive-thru, my intended focus was political. I suppose I intended to air out the issues of the day, spark debate, and gather an audience. That didn't last long. I simply didn't feel like I was adding much new to the topics that had already been chewed over before I got to them.
When I shifted the Drive-thru to an instructional technology focus, I still hungered for an audience and hoped to-- at least within my own building-- foster discussion on a subject that had really captured my imagination. I track my readership numbers pretty carefully and feel a special surge of motivation when the posts attract comments. But I have come to realize that blogging has important value to me regardless of how widely it is read or how much social interaction it generates.
Blogging actually helps me stay committed to my experiments." While not exactly a matter of "keeping me honest", the public record created by blogging helps me to carry out my intentions. If I mention at the Drive-thru that I am trying a new techie trick, invariably I report back, even if I wiped out. Being willing to risk and experience those failures is critical to innovation.
Blogging on a regular schedule also encourages me to read more widely and turn over more rocks, looking for posting ideas. It encourages me to try new tools and pilot new strategies in the classroom. In this way, feeding the blog has actually contributed to my professional development.
Most importantly, like a journal, the writing in the Web log forces me to think hard about what I believe about education. Next week, I am returning to my three posts a week schedule (M,W,F) and I am going to begin with a three part "manifesto" of what amounts to my ed tech philosophy. Certainly this is not a subject likely to increase my readership, but it's been a great mental exercise. With over a hundred ed tech blog posts under my belt, I am ready to bite off and chew some educational philosophy at the Drive-thru.
"We Love Blog" Flickr Creative Commons photo by kawade
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