The joys of blogging!

This post aims to serve two purposes. It is partly aimed at meeting the university assignment criteria that this blog was originally set up as part of. This requires proof of “other’s engagement” and I hope this post provides evidence towards this.

But most importantly, this post is to say thank you to everyone who has visited and commented on my blog – I’m glad you have found it useful! Some highlights from outside the blog have included being featured in the ScratchEd Weekly Roundup and being “scooped” as part of someone’s Scoop.it site.

I have also received some great messages on Twitter, alongside being re-tweeted by a whole host of people. This lovely message is one of my favourite:

I think the experience since “going live” has emphasised to me the benefits of blogging. Blogging provides an opportunity to share ideas with the internet and receive comments and feedback from people from all over the world. I can imagine how excited children must feel when someone comments on their blogs and I will definitely comment on different school blogs in the future.

One way that schools can ensure their blogs get the publicity they deserve is through signing up to QuadBlogging.  The QuadBlogging website states that in the last year 100,000 pupils in 40 countries have been involved in the scheme. There is a great video on Youtube that outlines the process: 

Furthermore, my colleague, Lindsay Morris has provided some more insights into Quadblogging on her blog and I suggest you check it out. 

In the spirit of sharing I wanted to finish this post with a song that was recommended by TES SEN on Twitter, who posted a link that contains lots of songs that include Makaton signing. This particular song is being sung by some of the people from Shabang. The TES website states that this could be a great ice-breaker or introductions song, which I think ties in with the theme of this blog update. Plus, I think it’s a really catchy tune that could be used in special or mainstream settings. Enjoy!

What is a blog for, anyway?

Blog community

Hughes Syndrome (2012) Blog [online]. Available from: http://www.hughes-syndrome.org/news.htm. [Accessed: 14th October 2012].

For about a year or so I have taken an interest in various different blogs. I have found them an interesting insight into a whole paraphernalia of stuff – topics ranging from ancient history, to technology to rating school dinners. But that’s really as far I’ve gone with considering the idea of blogs. In other words: I’ve been a consumer not a producer.

However, last week this started to change.

You see, this was the week when I started the last series of ICT sessions during my final year studying BA (Hons) Primary Education at the University of Northampton. During our first lesson we were asked to start a blog on our experiences of ICT in education.

My first reaction to this was positive. I found setting up the blog a straightforward process, although I must admit that I tried about sixty different themes for the blog… and hated them all.  I have finally found a theme that I like, although this may change!

With the mechanics completed, I’ve spent the last few days considering what a blog actually does. I watched an interesting TED speech by Mena Trott that really got me thinking. In her speech she asked her audience to:

think about blogs, think about what they are, what you thought of them and then actually do it.

So this is why I am thinking about what a blog actually is. From looking at other people’s blogs I understand that they present information, but I had a feeling that they do more than this. To shed some light on my concerns I decided to look up “blog” in the dictionary. This being an online project, I felt it would be pertinent to use an online dictionary, so I looked up the term on Oxford Dictionary online.

I was presented with the following definition:

A personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis.

I thought this was a good definition to start with and it reassured me. I’ve written about my opinion before and had people deem it good enough to be published. But I did feel that this definition was missing something.

So I turned to the Collins online dictionary, which provided this definition:

A journal written on-line and accessible to users of the internet.

This definition completed the jigsaw for me. Blogs are not just an individual’s opportunity to put stuff online, but they are a chance for the blogger and readers to share ideas and interact as a journey unfolds.

For some people this journey will be about their experiences as a polar explorer, for others it will involve documenting selling records without being signed to a record label. For me this journey will primarily be about ICT in education, mostly reflecting on issues touched on at University. But, I plan to also bring in other things I’ve found out about education or information from the use of ICT in the wider world that I find interesting.

I hope you enjoy the ride.