Reflection

Christmas break is upon us. I read about 25 blogs on a regular basis and  I notice that a lot of bloggers are in a reflective mood this time of year. I have not been a blogger for very long. The end of this month will mark five months of running this blog. I thought it might be appropriate to look at what I’ve been writing about and how it has been fulfilling my objectives in maintaining this blog. @Darcy1968 tweeted about this website that creates word clouds of your Twitter posts.

Looking at this and the word cloud of tags that I attached to blog posts (look on the right column, about halfway down the page), it seems that I write primarily about 3 topics: teaching, technology, and family, which is primarily what I started out wanting to write about. Is this conducive to meeting my goals for jasontbedell.com?

  • I write to reflect on different aspects of my own and others teaching to help me to understand and articulate what I believe. The blog is the perfect venue for this. Although it may sound selfish, I write for myself first before anyone else. I need to reflect on my teaching to improve. I also need to understand what I know and what I  don’t before I can fully learn from others.
  • I write to equip other teachers to help them improve at what they do. I do not say this from a perspective of bragging. We all have strengths. I learn from other teachers every day and this blog is a way of giving back from what I believe are my strengths. Looking at my statistics, I believe that I have found some success here. My highest day is 76 visitors, although I still have many days of 0-5 visitors (I still appreciate those few of you who come regularly). I have had visitors (not very many) from Canada, Australia, Sweden, India, Saudia Arabia, Germany, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates (courtesy of ClustrMaps). It is immensely humbling to me that other educators from all over the world have taken time out of their schedules to read what I have to say. I still have room for great improvement here and hope that this space continues to grow as a place where colleagues from all over can come to learn, connect, and collaborate. I plan on focusing more on ideas, tutorials, and sharing lesson plans in the coming year.
  • I write as a way to interact with other teachers. The interaction between me and my peers here has been relatively limited. I rarely receive comments and without them there can be little to interact with. I have received some emails and Twitter replies in response to blog posts, though. To me, this means that I need to find content that is more challenging and interesting to educators to encourage them to collaborate. True learning rarely takes place in isolation and if this is to be a place of true learning, as I would like it to be, I have to find ways to help my colleagues work together better online.
  • I decided at one point to use the blog as a vehicle for JTB Consulting, my educational technology start-up. My year has been so hectic between the new job, moving, two jobs, etc… that I have not been able to devote any time or resources to JTB Consulting since first fermenting the idea. It is on the back burner at the moment.

So, what conclusion did I come to after all that? If the blog ended today, I would be happy with what it accomplished. I love writing and interacting with other educators and technologists. I am enthusiatic to continue the blog and hope that it is a help and a resource to you. If you have any suggestions on improving the blog or topics to write about, please let me know in the comments.

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