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#28daysofwriting – Day 1. An introduction and backstory

Hello.

My name is Dave and I am rubbish at keeping this blog up to date.

When I first trained as a teacher back in 2004 I was lucky enough to make several contacts with blogging teachers via the School History Teachers Forum. And so blogging seemed a natural extension. All the cool kids were doing it. My first blog disappeared in a slight technical hiccup while moving hosts, but this one has been going since 2008.

Through blogging I found out more and more about the use of technology in education and slowly started playing with Moodle, blogs for students, and signed the school up for Google Apps for Education shortly after it launched in the UK. Over the way I became the e-learning coordinator for the school, we won one of the first National Digital Learning Awards and eventually I found myself working with the Welsh government Hwb project. In September I started a two year secondment with them supporting the role out of the project across Wales.

But along the way the blogging dried up. Sure, there were patches when it kicked up a gear, but something always happened that diverted my attention. Probably the biggest issue was just in-school workload, and another significant factor was having kids. I’ve always tried (sometimes more successfully than others) to find a work-life balance and blogging was something that could be scarified for more time with the kids on the weekend, for an evening with the wife (although I can hear her voice in my head now asking me when they were!) or just for general jobs around the house (repeat the content of the previous brackets here).

Once Twitter came along ‘edublogging’ in general seemed to dry up, although eventually as more connected educators started to want to express themselves in more than 140 character the number of blogging teachers grew again. We may well be into the realms of feeble excuses now but the quality of some of those bloggers gave me pause before I hit publish. In addition the nature of the edublogosphere (are we still calling it that?) changed as a wider variety of educational views and philosophies found their voice. Lots of those challenging voices made me question some of the fundamental beliefs I had about education, and the more robust nature of the debates meant I wasn’t really willing to put my head above the parapet until I’d processed these and come to some views and beliefs that I feel I can defend (I feel there might be a future blog post in that). In the last six months or so I think I’m probably getting there.

So, as I said last month, it’s time to start blogging again. And yet, I didn’t.

So when I saw Tom’s tweet last week I knew this was the excuse I needed to get going. Like Ewan I’m not too sure what is going to emerge over the next 28 days, although I’ve got a head full of ideas that I think will make some good starting points. I think the biggest barrier will be finding the 28 minutes. I’m in two minds as to whether to try and find a set time each day (maybe my lunch break) or snatch some time as and when. I think the former will help me sustain the habit, but may make it it harder to reach the end. I’d love to know what others involved are doing – it was interesting to see how often ‘Time’ was identified as a barrier in the spreadsheet of participants that Tom had shared.

Right now, I’m downstairs in Ammanford Rugby Club while Curig has a dancing practice upstairs. The drafting, adding links and a quick proof read has now taken 29 minutes so I’m going it hit publish now. Tomorrow I’m going to try to find an image to include as well (although that might become a post-28 minutes bonus). Then I’m going to hit the hashtag and find out how everyone else is getting on.

See you tomorrow!

Dave Stacey

4 Comments

  1. Great to see you kick off Dave – good luck with the writing. I suspect just finding a time to be settled every day could prove to be a great outcome for the month. Simply knowing the best conditions to be doing this will no doubt help – looking forward to your reflections along the way.

  2. right – you’re on! What a great idea. I really struggle with writing my blog, and I’m always thinking – ‘that would make a great blog post’. Perhaps I’ll start tomorrow 🙂

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