24 May 2013

Sunshine and Change of Perspectives

It's been a long semester for me. Or so it has felt like at times.

A question of perception, perhaps.

With this feeling of a never-ending-semester, last weekend 2 surprises to lighten up my days:  2 colleagues who I have the most respect for, awarded me the Sunshine Award for this blog. 

Carmen Arias and Pilar Pamblanco are bloggers, who equally share teaching tips, resources and a voice on Twitter as well as other social networks. Both are highly recommended to follow. 

Which brings me back to this post; all week I have questioned myself on the value and purpose of these awards, awards which go largely unnoticed by those who do not follow blogs and most certainly, unnoticed by the many institutions where these bloggers are participants. 

In both cases, a pity - for those who are missing out on the dialogue and stimulating exchanges which take place in the blogosphere. There are still those who consider that "serious, respected" academics don't need blogs or that blogging is a waste of time when instead, it is publishing in journals that matters. To those who still hold on to those beliefs, what is there to say? In my view, presenting at conferences, publishing in journals, collaborating and contributing to social media such as blogging, are all different, but equal activities and forms of an educator's role today. There are those who may not be able to attend international conferences - are they any less valuable educators than those who are more fortunate? There are educators who publish more in journals, are they are any more capable than those who blog?

I shall leave those questions open, for answers are framed by one's perceptions and points of references. 

Nevertheless, should anyone attempt persuading me that bloggers such as Carmen and Pilar (mentioned above), Tony Gurr, John Mak, Dave Cormier, Donald Clark , George Couros, Jackie Gerstein, among the many other bloggers who I read and value, are not worth reading, to those, I can only smile quietly, for it is certainly their professional loss. 

I am not saying that blogs are more "relevant" than publishing in academic journals; I am saying that blogging today is part of one's educational journey and experience - whether that journey being in the model BG or in today's online world. And more importantly, today educators have more choices to be heard, to share and learn with others around the world. For someone such as myself who began teaching without the benefits of being connected, it never fails to inspire gratitude in me to all who teach and share so much. 

Most posts in this blog are about platforms and tools for learning, which hopefully may bring about some creativity in the classroom.

Today, I would like to send out a THANK YOU to ALL Educational Bloggers - for your time, (and blogging does take up time!), for your courage to raise and share your voice, (there are times when yes, it does take courage to be out-spoken) and above all, your generosity to share insights, successes and failures (for education is not only about success and it is through failures that one learns for the future). 

And in way of an ending, I'd like to suggest a great resource for all educators - The Design Studio

As explained on the site, "The Design Studio is a developing toolkit which draws together a range of existing and emergent JISC resources which support technology-enhanced teaching and learning practice. The Design Studio will provide access to project outcomes and outputs from a range of Jisc programmes as they are developed through an open sharing and synthesis approach." Definitely a rich resource for all.

Perspectives. They change.

If not, how does one continue in Education, which is all about change and the future?

To all those who share, inspire and accompany me through the many changes in Education -

Thank you!

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