We have been thinking. A lot. We have been thinking a lot, Ms. G and I. We have been thinking and reflecting and listening to you and each other. Some of you have started to ask Why? Why blog? Why share? Why all this? I cannot imagine saying it any better at this time than Ms. G. She has written this stunning, honest and insightful post about our dream for you. Take a read. Have a think. Curious what you have to say.
have a dream for you, which is also something we wish for ourselves.
Something we too are working toward as learners. But still, we want it
for you. And we are here to help. Model. Push. Listen. Reassure. Learn.
Inspire. Wait. And wait patiently.
a dream that involves the long view. One that looks at fear in the face
today. Not to fight it or deny it. Not to be ruled or be defined by
it. Instead, acknowledge its existence and use it to make smart and
creative decisions from the parts that make fear healthy. In fact, the
dream involves a decision and work toward unlearning the default
position of fearing the unknown. To expect it (the fear), deal with it,
use it to our advantage. Not be paralyzed by it. In the long view,
you/we still take risks and go out on a limb even if you/we are afraid.
Because past the fear are epiphanies, redemption, growth, expression,
thinking, new learning and perhaps, deeper understanding. Beyond the
fear is a chance to get to know the unknown in an intimate,
non-threatening, healthy way.
Just like the world wide web.
Yup. The Internet can appear like an intimidating, public black hole of judgment. And it can be mind numbing and scary. But it doesn't have to be that way. I mean, we
do need to be careful while we traverse its virtual halls. We need to
think about what we say, do and write when we represent ourselves
online. We need to have a civilized way of being. We need to know how
to create, build, share, love, collaborate and connect and be ourselves
as best we can, in the best way we know how. Which is not so different
from how we need to work on that in our physical spaces and material
lives. Think UWCSEA profile, right? To be the best people we can be on and off line. It's all part of digital citizenship.
All of it is real.
to NOT engage with the conversations, ideas, connect with others' and
see how their thoughts help yours and vice versa, not to be part of this
sharing culture because it's scary...well, now, that's scary.
Like I said, we have a dream and visually, through this info-graphic, the dream (long view) looks like this...
brings me to a point...the blogging. :) I know I have been quiet
about it for awhile. And I did that on purpose. I wanted you to know
how serious I was about letting you take it where you will. That even
if I love assigning things for class on it, that it was YOUR space. A
space you could define, design and furnish as your possible online home
that goes beyond English class. That the stuff we assign there from
time to time was just a small part of it.
know, it's been a complicated process. The creation of the spaces, the
encouraging, the building, the things we posted as teachers, to the
silence, to the intensity, to the lulls, to the waiting, to the figuring
it out. After much reflection, Mr. R and I re-realized that it's
really about this dream and not really about the blogging. To us, as
your teachers, it is the creation of opportunities for you guys to be
part of an education that's active, relevant, real world, effective,
hands-on, networked, innovative, personal and transformative. That's
it. That's what the blogs are for, in a nutshell, in the big picture,
in the final analysis.
Anyway, I noticed (with my classes) and you can also read this post
by Mr. R to see what his kids think about writing/sharing for and to a
wider audience, that many of you have embraced the space; invested in it
like precious real estate, claiming it as a permanent address. I've
seen it as your primary go-to url on your Gmail, Instagram and Twitter
accounts. I see that you use it because it's a space you are comfortable
in. Others are using it as a summer home, occasionally spending time
to express this or that when inspiration hits.
Then taking weeks off at
a time to do other things like log your reading (just kidding; but not
really) or focusing on schoolwork that needs your undivided attention
because those tasks are marked and assessed, unlike the blogs. Then
there's the bunch of you who want to write or share but don't know where
to start or maybe need more structure or prompting from us (nothing
wrong with that), some who want to write but don't have time, some who
have a gazillion drafts of interesting posts but are too scared to 'put
it out there' because of the dark voices in your head that tell you they
are not good enough (um, please cast those thoughts away). And then
some who will use it and only use it when things are assigned, some who
use it to improve writing, refine thinking, share thoughts you weren't
able to at the table,
some who thought it was supposed to be a certain way (like a space
purely for bearing your heart and soul and things that make you
vulnerable - um, where did that come from?), some who just want to read
others' stuff but are not ready to write, some who hate it, and finally,
some who are still figuring it out what it's for.
So what do you think? Can you see a clearer picture? Does that graphic make sense? If so how? What questions do you have? Are you more confused? Where do we go next? Get in here people, we are on a journey. We need each other. We need you........
And really, all of that is fine.
Wherever you are in this blogging business/connected learning spectrum, we honor it. Respect it. See it.
We hear you.
understand that these spaces of trust take time. That the dream, needs
to have a long view. That it has to have a lot of people who support
it. An authentic community that believes in and won't give up on it.
An acceptance that it's a complicated process of pushing and pulling
and leaving things alone sometimes. That we are all at different spots
and stages in the journey toward connected learning. And whatever spot
is an okay spot to be in.
I hope you hear us and believe us too.
after all that 'research' and reflecting and reassessing and thinking
and talking about it all with Mr. R, we thought it was important to keep
on keeping on. To softly encourage some, to leave some people alone,
to build trust, to create some structure for others, to read and comment
consistently on those blogs that are already permanent homes and well,
to continue to provide opportunities for the dream to come true for
everyone and in different ways. That's what we can do.
I don't have anything against blogging, and I know that it helps many people with their writing. I just don't like using the internet for my writing. I will still blog once in a while, but I don't like using the internet the way I don't like reading e Books. I think the internet/ technology has made writing different, and while change is good, I prefer the old fashioned print method. It's just a personal view.ReplyDelete