Reflection, Stepping Back at #131

This is blog post #131 of an almost daily habit I started over winter break. My original purposes for this and my parenting blog was to carve out space in my day, daily, for writing. I also wanted to use the time to grow as a technology teacher and to be held accountable for reflective practice in my parenting. All of these things have happened, and I am pretty proud of the accomplishment of getting two blog posts completed daily.

However, my writing is not what I really wanted from this time. Now that I have wrested it from the TV and other distractions, I want to refocus my writing. I have a children’s novel that has languished for over a decade and other book ideas I want to see if I can take a swing at.

With the two blogs, I find that my freshest writing is happening in my parenting one, and this one is running on fumes. I have lit a charge in my growth as a technology educator, and that is going well. I am, however, deeply engrossed in several big projects at school, and they are not the type of daily update material I was hoping to use in this blog. So, I will scale this blog back a bit. I will write when I am excited about some technology growth I have made. I imagine that this will happen roughly weekly, but I am not going to hold myself to a rigid schedule. This way, I hope to just convey thing about which I am truly enthusiastic and that might be more relevant for the followers of this blog.

Until the next big thing, then.


The First Shovel

When I was early in my teen years, a neighbor hired me to do some construction which amounted to digging ditches around a house to relay drainage pipes. After the first few shovels of dirt hit the small pile, the immensity of the task ahead of me became glaringly apparent. As a young teen, this was no big deal; in fact, it probably served to blow off some of that excess energy. Where did that stuff go?

Walking away from #edcampbos, I was energized in the way only good professional development can. I haven’t made my way through hardly any of the copious resources put out by that day of collective sharing, learning, and teaching. The one area I have started to make some movement on is the education bloggers group on Facebook. I managed to get two docs in that group organized a bit, to follow all of the Twitter handles, and to subscribe to all of the listed blogs. My goal after this blog and my other is to settle in with my iPad and get some nice reading done while I work on a scanning project that gets amazingly tedious without another task to occupy my mind.

Unlike my youthful experience with shovel and mattock, this project is something of my own choosing, and it excites me. There is a lot of work, none of which is critical, but all of which I want to do. It is just a matter of selecting where to dig in for greatest effect because I cannot do everything I see to do already. I am sure as I get going, the scale of opportunity will only increase.


Back to the Future

One of the things I read about in “How to be a great blogger” advice is that writing posts ahead of time and scheduling them to post at a regular time is one important piece of creating dependability. I have done this on occasion when I was heading out for a trip or knew that I had a rough couple of days with childcare or school commitments coming up.

My teaching often was somewhat planned and yet flexible enough to respond to student interest on the fly. Planning a day ahead probably was the most common strategy I employed, so this is just like that. Instead of sitting down cold and hoping to be inspired for the current day’s post, I’ll sit down cold and hope to be inspired for tomorrow. It just sounds so much better that way!

So while you read this, know that I am writing tomorrow’s post as well. I even have a topic already; now it is time to let those words flow.


I Am Spam, You Can’t Hear Me Roar

For a while now, my posts on Technological Ontogeny have not even been showing up on my own timeline or News Feed in Facebook. I don’t know what happened. My other WordPress blog shows up fine. My only thought is that I accidentally used the x to close out a post rather than clicking back and inadvertently marked myself as spam. I have spent some time looking for my own spam filter, but I cannot find it. There are lots of helpful sites that show where it should be, but under my Timeline -> Activity Log -> All there is no spam option as is shown on all the helpful screen shots I found. Mine is just missing. Hmmm.

I used IFTTT to automate posting to Facebook. That showed up, but it is not as clean as from the WordPress App. So with this blog, I will now manually add entries after I have finished them.

I imagine a clean world of clear rules that can be understood and followed. However, the rules for different sites change and are so complicated that the effects are somewhat unpredictable. This is doubly so when accidentally declaring oneself as spam. Yes, I am processed meat in a can.


Should Not Do

Today, I am blogging from my iPad. While poking around for inspiration related to technology, I remembered I hadn’t checked out the new features of Blogsy, the app I use to create WordPress and Blogger entries from my iPad.

There are quite a few new features, and I had to reset my Blogger settings. While looking at their new help videos, I was amused by the title, “Shold Not Do.” This video outlined some things one should not do when using Blogsy, but the presence of the video spoke to several things.

First, there are quirks in Blogsy in which one can get caught. This is to be expected in apps to some degree, and that brings up the second point: at least these developers acknowledge the issues and create a video to help users avoid problematic usage of their app. Lastly, they have a sense of humor. They could have titled the video, “Issues with text placement around image and video objects” or something of the sort. Instead, “Should Not Do,” caught my attention long enough to actually click on the link and learn about what I should not do.


In a car, on a phone. Blogging there makes me groan.

This is my first entry using the WordPress app on my phone. Even my keyboard is dead. I am not actually in a car though I spent from 9:15 to about 6:00 on the road.

This app is serviceable in a pinch. I, however, do not have master finger typing skills, so this will be a short post.


Johnny Apple/PC Seeder

In some ways, my job is akin to the folk hero who carried apple seeds across this nation. Cultural and historical critique aside, it makes a good title for a post, and I do have to plant seeds of ideas into the minds of the people with whom I work. Students, of course, are fertile ground and love the opportunity to interact with technology. Teachers run the gamut from enthusiastic to somewhat resistant to growing and nurturing their technological skills and knowledge.

One recent errant seed caught root. My mom is starting her own blog! I love it. She reads pretty much everything I post on blogs or facebook (I don’t think she has a twitter account, yet), and she is the most persistent commenter on my content. Usually this comes from Facebook to which I push all of my blog posts.

Yay Mom! (I’ve added your blog to my RSS reader.)