This article was published last week in the May 2008 edition of Learning and Leading with Technology magazine from ISTE as part of the 'Bloggers Cafe' series. I have reproduced it here, without the minor editing cuts, and with the essential hyperlinks that make a blog a truly interactive and alive piece of writing.
I hope you enjoy reading about what has become a natural way of life as a connected educator.
A Day in the Life of a Global, Connected Educator
(How blogging has changed my world)
Written February, 2008
Based on a previous blogpost from February 2007
As a global, connected educator I blog to foster international communication and to interact with my personal learning network. Blogging is embedded into my daily life. I read blogs, I respond to blogs, my student’s blog, and my colleague’s blog. It is through blogging that I have made and sustained professional liaisons around the world and what it means for me to be an educator and technology leader has shifted dramatically. Blogging allows me to embrace diversity, encourage and support new ideas and be inclusive on a global scale. We can all learn more about the world by opening our eyes to what is going on out there, outside our classrooms, outside our schools, outside our states and countries. Blogging promotes leadership and a 'flattened' approach. Blogging allows you to bring the world into your classroom.
My day of blogging starts with breakfast and a review of Google reader. In my daily routine and my struggle to make sense of where we are going I read blogs of other educators who are also sharing their experiences of the changing learning landscape. But, not only do I get to read from my own blogroll (subscription list of bloggers), through Google Reader and the 'share' feature I get to also read what my favorite bloggers are reading. Wow, this is a powerful tool. This paradigm shift means I know what my colleagues are reading and being influenced by and I can also share my explorations through the blogosphere. I scan Kim's (Cofino) new post from Thailand about 'outside voices' and the positive impact of bringing a consultant to a school to support curricular Web 2.0 embedding. I remember the Skype interview I recorded with Kim recently and uploaded to the wiki to introduce her to our school community and how the spoken word provided immediacy and complemented the written text. Another blog post is about a 'sustainable educational model' from Jabiz, a fellow expat. in Qatar who I have at last met face to face, where he states, 'education is the ability to sustain your own learning'.
At my desk at work I scan email, open Twitter and some Ning's (social networks) to view recent activity. The Edubloggerworld Ning has steadily growing international membership and an active core of people who keep the network alive. Our recently created school Ning, elearning4life, is also jumping with extra groups and forums and blog posts added every day. I decide to add a new group called 'Blogging for Learning' and immediately post resources. Being early morning in Qatar the Twitter network is alive with Australasian’s at work, coming off work and settling in for the evening. Meanwhile the Europeans are still in bed and the USA contingent is finishing off their evening blogging and online activity before saying goodnight. I add some greetings, comments and pick up interesting resources via 'Tweets', including new blogs posts hot off the press.
My email is alive with negotiations for meetings and events around the world. Jeff in China sends another SOS (Shifting Our School) podcast invitation to participate in online discussion with international educators; Barbara from Vienna and Vicki from Georgia are lined up for an online meeting via Elluminate later tonight to discuss our new digital citizenship project. I check my airset.com calendar and realize it is for 10pm in my time zone...not as late as usual. I also receive a reminder about another 'fishbowl' blogging session on 'A Whole New Mind' with Karl's class in Colorado. Steve has invited me to Skype in for a Web 2.0 session for the forthcoming CUE.org event, luckily the Saturday session is in a workable time zone for me.
So, when my students ask 'What are we going to use our blogs for?’ I smile. My response includes, 'Blogging will change the way you view the world, blogging will change the way you interact with the world. Blogging is just the beginning of how you will have an impact on the world....one post and one interaction at a time.'