Well first off, I hope this is not just another digital tech blog. Let me explain.
I am an avid reader of many edtech blogs and twitter feeds. Before Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) became the hot trend du jour, I was quietly engaged in my own little self-created personal learning networks/links via RSS feeds on my Google reader page. I imagine many of you reading this have the same set up too. I have benefited and learned greatly from so many people willing to share their thoughts, insights and ideas so freely online.
For me, I never really felt the need to blog because there is already so much blogging going on in whatever topic matter I am interested in. So really, what more could I really say that isn’t already being said? Ironically, given my field of employment and general research interests, that is the kind of statement my colleagues would kindly remind me “misses the point of blogging.” Maybe I’d get a sharp *tsk* from a couple of them given the fact I helped design a learning module about blogging and I am giving a workshop on the topic. So immediately, one reason for this blog is to “walk my talk.”
For most bloggers, this medium is not just about marketing your content, or making a name for yourself (though we know it can be). I find that particularly within the ed tech and eLearning blogosphere, as well as PLNs, most of us are enthusiastic sharers of information and ideas looking for kindred spirits to share our geekry and passion of the field with. “Ooo did you see this new tool” “Oh my gosh, I just did the coolest thing with my class today!” And so on and so forth. It is a platform from which we can reach out and connect more deeply than the 140 character feed of our twitter microblogs.
On a completely practical level I was never really good at keeping any kind of diary or journal as a kid or teen. Many of the fabulous bloggers I know were loyal journal keepers. I am a verbal thinker by nature and much rather enter into animated in-person dialogue rather than writing a report or summary of an idea that I’ve had. (The irony since I teach online). In fact, depending on what I am writing, it can be very intense and laborious to me. Let me rephrase that: Writing efficiently and interestingly has never been much of a natural gift.
This brings me to one of the other primary reasons why I’ve finally decide to seriously give it a go with this blog. Beyond creating yet another digital, educational, elearning, techology, online training, free tool focused blog to join the rest of them, I want to become a better and more effective online writer and communicator. Online writing is much different from traditional, narrative prose writing. I preach this in my day job as we design online and hybrid courses. Online readers, especially of blogs, are skimmers by nature, looking to glean those quick useful tidbits quickly. If you are still reading this, bravo– this will probably be one of my longest posts.
I thought about choosing a topic that was not work-related (cooking, travel) but the truth of the matter is that I am passionate about my work and field. And for a blog to work for both reader and writer, there needs to be passionate interest and connection (or so I think). As I take part in more twitter groups and conversations I feel the need to develop a bigger space to capture all of the thoughts and ideas I see flash by my tweet deck each minute. I hope this blog provides a nice little springboard and collection of some of the more intriguing thoughts and concepts I’ve seen pass through my twitter feeds, journals, and other RSS feeds. If anything I hope it keeps me more intellectually organized.
So while this blog will focus primarily on digital learning and ed tech, I feel, no matter how many years of professional experience and schooling I have in the field, I am in a constant state of digital learning.
So to answer the blog post heading: What another digital tech blog? Well I think I’ve answered that, albiet in my own meandering way. Please comment, follow along, etc. I plan to post ideas about resources, articles, thoughts from the twittersphere etc. Give constructive feedback. Recommend feature enhancements. Most of all, thanks for reading. And hopefully, I’ll stick with it and so will you.
Now, if I could only get this proofreading thing down.. maybe with time. :>)