If you cringe at mushy, philosophical mumbo jumbo, you might want to skip this post.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
If you cringe at mushy, philosophical mumbo jumbo, you might want to skip this post.
- Create a Google Map and add a bookmark with the title and author of a book you have read with a setting in another country of the world.
- Look through Book Around the World recommendations or on other Google Maps created by participants in this meme/challenge.
- Pick at least three books for your summer reading list that have a setting in a country you have not read another book about.
- Enjoy expanding your horizon!
Step 1: Create a google map. I decided to put a few recent reads on my google map. I noticed that my book settings seemed to favor North America and Asia lately. I tried to take a minute and think of books I have read from each continent. I can not think of a book I have read from Antarctica. The closest I could think of was Mr. Popper's Penguins. Other than that, I have "visited" the other six continents through reading. Countries, however, are a different story. Luckily, I already had a few books on my "plan to read" shelf that also fit the challenge.
View Larger Map
Here are my three books:
1. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, Bosnia and Herzogovnia
2. Shadow of the Wind by Carols Ruiz Zafon, Spain
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Germany
Now I know I am favoring Europe here...what can I say? These are three books I have really wanted to read anyway (have Shadow of the Wind sitting on my night table) and all happen to be listed on the Book Around the World site.
Thanks, Silvia, for always keeping me on my toes! I am tagging: Kim Glasgal, Ken Allan (Ken, something tells me you are a reader-hope you are up for a new challenge since the comment challenge is almost over) and.....who else out there would like to participate?
Monday, May 19, 2008
Learn Globally, Teach Locally - for now, this is what I do.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Day 15 of comment08. Today's task is to give an award. I love it! Fantastic blogger, Scott McLeod made this nice badge, too.
I have to say, I love all my commenters. I am simply delighted that anyone reads my blog at all. As I said recently, comments are the icing on the cake.
So, if you've taken the time to comment on my blog, please know that I appreciate it. I hope that I've responded back to you either here or there or somewhere.
And now....the 2008 EdTechWorkshop Fantastic Commenter award goes to....Blogger in Middle Earth, Ken Allan! Ken, please grab the badge and display it proudly on your blog!
Since beginning the comment challenge Ken has stopped by my blog to comment on a regular basis. He has also said some nice things about me, like calling me positive and sensible. And he sprinkles his comments with Maori phrases. But none of these really explain why I've awarded Ken the commenter award, although they are all a part of it.
How do I explain?
I feel like through his comments, I've actually started an exchange of ideas with someone who lives in New Zealand- the other side of the world. Never before have I met anyone from New Zealand. I know that we are roughly 12 hours apart, and a few times now, I have felt a sort of time-rhythm as I write something at night, and in the morning when I wake up there is a comment from Ken. In fact, I am writing this at 9:30 pm. I bet that when I wake up in the morning, Ken will have visited, and I hope that this post brings a smile to his morning.
It is almost like sharing a cup of tea. Only through writing. Asynchronously. It is amazing to me. And, blogging has brought this forth.
An interesting note is that Ken started his comment08 journey as a commenter without a blog, and it was the comment challenge that inspired his blog.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Day 9: Should we be commenting on blogs?
I'm not just being lazy with this answer, but really, what comes to mind is "Whatever."
Maybe it's just my mood today, but sometimes I read the blogs that go back and forth over this and that, and I feel like I'm watching a ping pong match. It's ok; I like watching it. I enjoy following the different trains of thought. But I just can't muster all that much emotion for whether or not someone wants to enable comments on their blog. Isn't that the joy of blogging? It's YOUR blog. You get to decide where it's hosted, what it looks like, what you'll write about, how often you'll write, etc. etc. You get to decide if you want comments and once you get comments, if you want to respond within the comments, on the other person's blog, in another post, an email, or not at all. For me, this is one of the things I enjoy about this form of communication. It's very fluid and really, there are no rules.
Day 10: Do a Comment Audit on your own Blog
1. You sound like a press release.
I doubt this. I write in the first person. I reflect on my teaching practice, share lessons, occasionally share a cool site or resource that I've discovered. No press release here.
2. You sound like an infomercial.
What would I be selling?
3. You sound like a know-it-all.
I sure hope not. I don't feel like a know-it-all.
4. You haven't showed them how.
I don't feel that it is that difficult to leave a comment. ??
5. You haven't created the right atmosphere.
I don't know. The atmosphere....???
I started out just to write and share things I was doing/learning. The comments and interaction has been like icing on the cake. I have made some good work connections and at least one real life friend through my blogging experience. I'd love to have lots of readers like some blogs do and lots of comments, because, so far, it's all been pretty positive. But it is what it is. I don't have tons of time to devote to blogging, so I have to do the best I can. I do make a pretty conscious effort to respond to comments either here or by visiting the commenter's blog. Do I need to decorate nicer? Have a little party? Light some candles and play some mood music?
6. You just don't seem that into it.
I am into it! I am!!! I really hope my passion for what I do shows in my writing.
So, why aren't more people commenting on my blog?
All I can think of is that the things I post about are just not the kinds of posts that inspire much discussion. I've had the most comments on my posts about comment08. Usually I post about a lesson I want to share or some thoughts about something that's happening at work. I get the occasional "thanks for sharing this" type of comment. The blogs I read that get a lot of comments are usually deeper or more controversial or witty. I don't really post in order to inspire comments. I just post. But I do really appreciate the comments. I think the feedback can get kind of addicting, and at times, I've read great blogs and thought, "Why do I even try?" But, I have to remind myself not to compare my blog to others. There is space for all of us here on the web. We all have something to say.
Going to stop here. I know I still have a few more days of catch up...please feel free to comment!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Oh good, a break from all this commenting to reflect ;)
Here is what I've learned so far:
I like blogging.
I like commenting.
I love when people comment on my blog.
People are smart and interesting and make me think about things in all kinds of different ways. Every new "voice" adds a new perspective.
I don't really have enough time to be a prolific blogger or commenter.
I should really take a minute to read my comment before I post it so that I don't have to feel annoyed after it is posted by all the times I said "interesting."
Out of seven tasks I completed all but one.
The one I did not complete was to comment on a post you disagree with.
I didn't find a post to disagree with yet.
I might do that task later or I might just skip it.
Disagreeing is not my favorite thing. I know it is a good thing to be able to express disagreement, but I feel that I get a lot of that in real life. I kind of enjoy the blogosphere for the homiphily...not sure I spelled that right, but I LIKE feeling a little warm and fuzzy about the blogosphere for now. I'm a newbie, ok??
The best thing about the comment challenge for me has been that I've gotten more comments on my blog than ever before, and I have discovered some new, fun blogs to add to my google reader.
That's all for now.
oh yeah, one more thing... it is easier for technorati to add my posts to the comment challenge if I say something like this:.....remember to label your posts comment08.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
"yes, I agree with you, great post" type of comment (which seems to be my standard). But there was no open-ended question in my comment. Then I jumped into my google reader and read this post, which was another post about the same post I had just read. Maybe it's the universe telling me it's time to confront this issue of lame excuses which has driven me crazy at work forever.
Obviously, it is not something unique to my particular school or even to the field of education.
So, I left my open-ended question on Britt's blog.
I know that it is part of human nature to resist change. I, myself, have a hard time with change. And yet, there is no stopping it. Why do you think so many teachers are so averse to innovation and change?
Now I want to try to answer my own question. It's a tough one. Mitch Ditkoff (from the first mentioned blog post) gives this technique for dealing:
So, there is a potential answer to the question...but still, I am interested in the very open-ended question, "WHY?"
1. Make a list of your three most bothersome excuses.
2. Turn each excuse into a powerful question, starting with the words "How can I?" or "How can we?" (For example, if your excuse is "That's R&D's job," you might ask "How can I make innovation my job?" or "How can I help my team take more responsibility for innovating?"
3. Brainstorm each question -- alone and with your team.
Creature of Habit
I guess I will look to myself first. It is kind of a silly example, but this firefox-safari thing comes to mind. I am in the habit of using safari as my browser. I have all my bookmarks set up just the way I like them. But, more and more, I am finding that things don't work as well in safari, and I need to switch over to firefox. It's not just cocomment, it's moodle, edline, a number of tools work best in firefox. And yet, creature of habit that I am, I open safari first, every time. So yesterday, I decided to remove safari from my dock (dock=the thing we use in mac osx to easily access applications). Do you know that I couldn't stand not having safari in my dock? I had to put it back!
We know all the sayings "creature of habit," "old habits die hard," etc. There is a lot to be learned from examining our habits and teaching ourselves to adopt new habits to help us make the kinds of changes we wish to make. It brings to mind a favorite quote that is on the top of my blog and on my wall in the computer lab at work.
"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn."
I see this at the core of the lame excuses: old habits and some laziness. The more you do it, the easier it is to learn, unlearn, relearn. It can almost become a habit in itself, and I think it is part of what using technology is doing for us as human beings.
So, why are teachers so stuck? Perhaps it is unfair for me to pick on teachers. I only know teachers. I have never really worked in any other type of organization. But, that said, it is sort of widely known that schools seem stuck in the industrial age. Why is that?
Here is what comes to mind: Fear. Lack of time. Lack of interest. Lack of passion for learning, improving their practice, trying new things (this is the one that bothers me most). Habit.
I have had an idea for professional development for next year that I hope will address a few of these concerns. I will blog about it as I go forward with it. The only thing that can not be addressed even with the best professional development is a lack of passion for being a learner. I wish people like that would go into some other profession.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
This sentence has been added in an attempt to get technorati to pick up this post for comment08. If you are part of the 31 day comment challenge, tag your posts with comment08. And good luck!