Coming back to blogging for my own professional purposes is not easy. Within the walls of the classroom, putting my teaching ‘out there’ for my students to participate and engage with content and activities is easy. Take away the walls and I appear to lose confidence. While I read and enjoy the blog posts created by many others, it’s been a one sided conversation. I have largely been silent. With my newly found resolve to model what I teach, I will DO it to LEARN it.
I encourage and challenge the teacher candidates in my courses to blog for professional purposes. In the busy days within the Faculty of Education, it’s almost impossible for them to carve out a little time to blog, twitter, or tend to other commitments. But their teaching practice will be enriched if they can learn early into their careers to work without the walls, within an ever-expanding digital space. Finding an ebb and flow, or an equilibrium, in the process of ‘doing IT’ will come with practice. My guidance to them is the same as I’m telling myself – DO IT once a day for short 5-10 minute tasks, such as checking on a twitter feed, or once a week if it’s going to take 15-30 minutes, such as a blog post or digital creation.
By focusing some time on bogging I will write my story and build my brand as a digital teacher and learner. If I don’t DO IT, someone else will shape my story for me. It’s not only good for my teaching practice for me to do this thing called blogging, it’s an essential way for me to learn how to teach other educators, soon to be educators and colleagues in education to DO IT digitally. Teaching and learning has to happen differently, so DO IT to LEARN IT!
But blogging isn’t the only way to DO IT in digital spaces. I’ve been reviewing all the work I do as an educators of soon-to-be-educators. Some much needed advice came this week from a blog post How to Curate Your Digital Identity as an Academic written by Kelli Marshall. She’s writing from experience. I’m currently paying particular attention to two tips: take control and build a network. I’ll move onto the tips to buy a domain name, monitor yourself, and practice uniformity. Some challenges ahead, but when aren’t New Year’s resolutions difficult. They are our way of renewing and re-investing in ourselves, on a personal and professional level.