Summer for me is difficult because I get out of routine… especially blogging routine. I truly don’t want to take a summer hiatus. In fact I find the mere process of blogging, reflecting, and creating content to be a much needed catharsis: it serves as both a brain dump and a way to archive ideas and resources. But I also find it difficult to blog and gather my thoughts during this time frame as new tasks, projects, and schedules emerge.
This particular post has been a long time in the making. It is hard to believe that I am embarking on year 5 with my blog (half a decade of posts) and I thought there was no better time to give a little back story…(If you don’t care for back story, and want to jump straight to the tools, I won’t be too terribly offended – scroll away.)
Why Did You Start Blogging?
My blogging origins were a blend of a few elements:
- Ineffective Teacher Sites: When I worked for my previous school district, Ed Techs were provided with websites similar to Weebly. At the time I found the tool to be ineffective for organizing content and professional development resources and was searching for something to fill that need.
- Loss of Content: I was also concerned that I was creating and curating a fair amount of content and resources that would essentially be shut down (for myself and everyone else that benefitted from them) if and when I left the district.
- Lack of Educational Content Relating to the iPad: This was year 1 of iPads and there was little content available on the web. As I was navigating these waters, I sought to have a place to reflect and share these digital trials, tribulations, and successes.
So a WordPress blog seemed the most natural progression. I would retain ownership of the “rogue” site and found it easier to organize and produce content with the tool. For those of you interested in polishing your blog to starting one, I have delineated “21 Things Every Ed Tech Blogger Should Do in 2015” to guide and/or inspire you.
*** I contributed a vignette in Chapter 4 of Rafranz Davis’ new book, “The Missing Voices in Ed Tech” which details my call to blogging and shares some best practices. I am thankful for this platform to share the need for blogging and am a fan of Rafranz Davis as she is not only an exceptionally honest blogger and author – she is a friend and a dear member of my PLN.
What is an Ed Tech Pollinator?
I have to say that it feels amazing to be in a field of work and at a district that I feels so passionate about. Honestly, I feel very blessed to have a profession that feels less like work and more like a calling. I feel like it is our job in this field to not only support students and teachers but to also share this support online… thus effectively pollinating the edusphere and allowing others to bloom and grow through this transfer of content and insight.
So… (in a not so smooth segue) Adam Jones and I met at Miami Device last year. He attended a few of my sessions and wrote one of the most comprehensive and kind reviews I have ever read. Recently, he asked if I would do a show for his podcast, Adam Jones Ed. I agreed and I have to say of all the podcasts and interviews I have done – this was one of my favorite stylistically as well as professionally (Adam reminds me of NPR’s Guy Ross – the whole interview felt like having coffee with an old friend – sharing inspiring stories). It was a delight to share an hour chatting about education, pedagogy, and technology with him.
What Are Your Go To Tools for Creating and Curating Content?
Part of the reason this post took so long to write and publish is my need to provide resources for my readers. While my origin story and philosophy on ed tech pollination might be interesting to some and will at least frame the 12+ tools I plan to share, I can’t in good conscience blog to just share that info alone.
I have had several inquiries to the tools that I use to create and curate. These ingredients seemed to be just the spice to complete this ed tech dish. While these may not be the most new and flashy tools in the edusphere, they happen to be tried and true ingredients in my kitchen for concocting and curating content… so I thought I would share.
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