Sometimes I find it really hard to think about blogging. My husband is a heck of a blogger who feels like the universe is totally out of order if more than four days go by without posting a blog. He knocks them out, very useful links to books, articles, interviews with authors, lots of quick info for the field of study in which we have worked most of our adult lives. I envy that energy, and while I vlog more than I blog, there’s always something distracting me as I finalize plans to do either. I almost always let many more than four days go by.
I think that’s why I like teaching. When you’re teaching, whether you’re teaching one student at a time, or a whole Moodle or WizIQ classroom full, or a one-day face-to-face seminar in a beautiful old library, there’s a schedule to it that has to be met. Distractions have to be ignored, other projects postponed. The mind focuses and the fingers fly over the keyboard, or the little grey cells light up all over your brain, and off you go, trying to ladder up from the basics to the top of the pile, from the simpler foundations to the more complex thoughts that occur as the fundamentals fill in and pile up.
When you’re blogging, if you really have a plan, then you can impose that internal time-table and keep to it. If you can toss out that blog on schedule, you’re golden. And being able to just “say it” — in a couple of words, a quick sentence. That’s a huge plus.
Sigh … that kind of thing is not so possible for me. I think and re-think. I read and re-read. I agonize over what I’ve included and what I’ve left out. I obsess over the placement of the commas. I delete whole paragraphs and then “undo” them back. I remember I was going to bake biscuits, or make peach and pecan bread, or watch the latest Vlogbrothers, go see that WizIQ lecture about retention in online courses, or head out to see what my friends and relatives on Pinterest are uploading. Scattershot. All over the place. But if it’s ADD I don’t want to be medicated out of it. I like to pretend it’s multitasking because sometimes it is, and sometimes I get stuff done.
Where I’ve been blogging mostly (although not as regularly as some) has been on the WizIQ Teach Blog. I love WizIQ, I have to confess. It has been my favorite webinar system since I started. A clean white interface, easily branded, tools that encourage interaction and communication, totally affordable (free accounts for students and teachers), and a customer service staff that blows every other customer service staff on the planet right out of the water.
It occurred to me this morning that to re-boot this blog and my commitment to it, I could make a list of what I’ve written for WizIQ. By listing the accomplishments that got past my anxiety, my comma-fixing, my grammatical reworking, my running off in thirty other directions while working on a blog, I might be able to get back to not only blogging for them, but also to blogging for me. It’s a plan anyhow.
So here goes:
May 7, 2013, Filling Up the Course Feed
June 7th, 2013, WizIQ Teachers Love Technology!
June 25th, 2013, 10 Virtual Classroom Tools that Connect You To Online Education
July 2nd, 2013, 5 Useful Tips for Good Time Management for Online Teachers
July 30th, 2013, Do Universities Think Online Education is the Future?
August 23rd, 2013, 12 Things You Should Never Do When You Teach Online
September 6th, 2013, 5 Ways to Market Your Online Courses
October 21st, 2013, What Do Online Teachers and Online Students Really Want?
November 14th, 2013. Learning from Veteran Teachers: Some Things Never Change
April 21st, 2014, The Ultimate Moodle and WizIQ Mash-up
April 23rd, 2014, 5 Must-Use Features of Moodle Every Online Teacher Should Know
So, I’ve published 14 blogs on the WizIQ blog site, and I’m hoping to do some more, but that’s where I’ve been, that and on YouTube (I’ll do a blog about that here in the future). While I filmed a few tutorials for the WizIQ blogs I wrote, and contributed a couple of pictures of teaching friends of mine, the amazing illustrations in my blogs on that site were chosen by Navleen Kaur, who has written some really wonderful blogs of her own for the WizIQ blog site as well.
So, see, I can get stuff done. And that means, I can get more stuff done, right?
So as the leaves change, and the 2014/2015 academic year in the US gains speed, I’m thinking about how to contribute a bit more to the conversation about what it means to teach in general, and what it means to teach online in particular. I’m still listening, still learning. And, of course, hoping to figure out how I can live up to that other blogger in the house. Wish me luck!