Sunday, July 23, 2006

little fish in a big pond

I am a teacher by profession but I'm hoping that my blog does not read like a typical edu blog

I am interested in philosophy, futures, politics, history, health, computer games, the internet, chess, psychology, programming languages and other stuff.

Isn't it potentially narrowing for teachers to focus on other teacher blogs? It's better to broaden out, to step out of the pond and learn to swim in the big ocean.

Here are some non edu sites and blogs that I try (unsuccessfully) to keep up with:

HOMEPAGE
http://reddit.com/

SITES
http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html
http://www.shirky.com/
http://www.lastsuperpower.net/

BLOGS
http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/
http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/
http://many.corante.com/
http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/
http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/


Tags:

4 comments:

Graham Wegner said...

Ah, but Bill, first you have to get teachers to look beyond their own fishbowls (classrooms) and aquariums (schools) before they even consider life outside of the pool. I agree wih you but I'm only just getting the feel of the edublogger pool so how would those who just started dabbling via my workshop go?

Jason Plunkett said...

I am not sure I agree Bill. I am sure many people have feeds to things other than education, but doesn't their own blog need a focus?
I have categories for my feeds based on their content, If I found a blog that had a broad focus I believe I would be less likely to include it.
A second blog could be set up for a different interest.

I do agree however that blogging only on the content of others blogs would be extemely narrowing. Yes we should have a broad information bank to base our blogs on.

I personally like working in my workshop and being a "handyman" as I finish turning my shed into another room - but I don't blog about it, nor read blogs on this topic (although I have googled a few things).

Yes we should read other blogs, although I feel many laready do - even if they do relate back to education. I am many of us have found a fantastic website and joined to their feed to keep up with progress.

Bill Kerr said...

Hi Graham,

My initial advice about blogging is to start writing about your interests. In a workshop I ran I found out that that might be Intelligent Design or Art. Both related to Education of course but my advice was based on the simple idea that bloggers are just writers who use the new, soon to be dominant medium to express themselves. What I believe is that writers will keep blogging, non writers will stop.

I think it's more true that teachers accept their fishbowl / aquarium status than actually live in it, that is to say there is a lot of pressure on teachers to self censor, to be not themselves in front of a class, blogging or whatever.

I'm angsty about political correctness and accepting the limits imposed on us.

Hi Jason,

Yes, I think I expressed myself poorly, your response shows me that. Blogs are better if they have a focus. What I believe however is that a blog of an educator will be more interesting if its focus is broader than School. Education can be meshed with futures, with politics, with philosophy, with psychology etc. but maybe not some aspects of being a handyman, even though I'm sure that can be meshed in too.

Personally, I feel sometimes a more powerful sense of what is possible by mentally stepping outside of School. eg. by reading blogs I categorise under the heading of "Futures" (see my list).

Bill Kerr said...

Some ways in which edu blogs might enrich themselves:

1) being personal
2) being expert, deep
3) being unconventional, honest
4) diversifying by cross referencing with different knowledge domains

I don't like edu blogs or sites which are sanitised, risk free or have logos of dressed up kangaroos dancing around freshly painted school houses.