I had pretty much made my peace with being an ex-blogger. It’s been a year since the last time I posted to this blog, and, even that last post was just a speculation about the wisdom of amateurs running their own servers. For the previous four years, the blog had been center of my digital identity and the source of connection with a host of interesting, challenging and involved colleagues. It also generated a fair amount angst, since writing is a form of torture for me; I’m prone to embarrassing typos, and I’ve been told by several colleagues that the defining attribute of my writing is my “keen sense of the obvious”.
That said, I’ve never quite gotten rid of that small voice in the back of my mind that keeps suggesting I ought to revisit the decision to abandon the blog. The volume of the voice has gone up this semester as I’m teaching my adult education course for the first time since 2006. The course is a bit unusual in that it builds explicitly on adult learning principles, which immediately frames the class much differently than most other courses that the students have experienced. (We write the syllabus together after the fourth week of class, for example.) There are a couple of guiding principles that emerge that relate to blogging:
- Adult educators an ethical responsibility to engage in sustained, systematic and critical reflection about their practice. One of the major goals of the class is to help students develop methods of reflection that will live on beyond this course and will become integrated into their own lifelong learning and will help guide their efforts in helping others learn over the lifespan.
- If you can find the courage to do it, sharing some of those reflections in a public way can be a source of continued creativity, inspiration and professional challenge.
Three or four of the students in the class are blogging as part of their reflection efforts, so I’ve been a bit sensitized to the need to narrate my own work. Then two things happened that pushed me over the top and back into the new post window. First Gardner posted a comment on a year old post saying stating that he was waiting for something new to appear. (Curse you, Gardo!) Then, one of the member of my class signed up for a Twitter account and started following me, causing me to think that maybe it was time for me to get a little more public about my own reflections and practice. Maybe it would be good to reopen myself to some of that creativity, inspiration and challenge.