Hello Wordpress

graph‘I want to reflect on my practice but there are so many tools to use. What would you recommend?’ Many times I get asked this question. My response is, ‘ I cannot tell you that, you will need to work it out for yourself.’

Treat your blog like a house, one day you might have to shift and like house shifting there is a huge turmoil, work involved, archiving, sorting and basically getting rid of rubbish, reorganising and a general tidy up. In addition there is the thinking that the new space will be better organised with proper tagging etc.  I have been thinking about my original decision to use blogspot as my preferred choice on and off since 2012 when I began to see wordpress being used and I set up my wordpress account. I hesitated because blogspot is a google tool and Google is the king of the internet, correct? Umm no check out China where the majority of the worlds population live and google does not rule.

I began my blogging journey in May of 2009. Therefore this is my sixth year of blogging. I chose blogger because at that time I had attended a course about setting up blogs and blogspot was the tool used. Again I focussed on the tool and not the process.

My blogging journey has been a bit sporadic as I thought through the process of change. My reflective journey started with a whizz and a bang and then slowed right down as normal teacher life took over.  When I am unsure I find I shift back into what I know rather than tackle the challenge. However every so often I got back into the process with renewed vigour. 2014 was a good year for reflection. I reflected on average approximately one post every two weeks and I want to continue that journey.

Many questions come to mind as I think of changing my reflective tool such as:

  • What about my stats?
  • What about Google being the king of the internet?
  • What about my stats?

With time comes wisdom and I realise, I really do not care about either. Choose the tool for the job and from what I have seen, wordpress is pretty flash. And maybe in another seven year I might need to shift again, who knows? We all know how quickly information gets buried.

This time last year I set up my personal domain using google sites as I wanted a space that curated all that I do. I am still struggling with how clunky Google sites are. I continued to persevere because we use GAFE at our school and I needed to know how to use sites because sites does integrate nicely with drive and I love drive. This time last year too, I had set up a google slides personally for my own information and again when I get asked, ‘Who else blogs? Can I see what this looks like?’ You can check out the curated links if you are interested in reading other kiwi educator blogs.

We are all on a visible journey and from experience I know the importance of leaving breadcrumbs of sharing. I have been looking seriously too at how educators track their learning. The educators who have been active online for a while and whose reflective work I seriously admire, I like the set up of many of the wordpress blogs and I still like many features of blogger.

2015 I am shifting folks. Rather than bring my posts with me, I have archive my past seven years using blogspot. and any interested readers looking for any past posts can visit them there.  My new space here on wordpress will begin too with the registered Teacher Criteria. I have always admired how Stephanie Thompson did that. Through discussion with Virginia Kung, I have been working through what my own system should look like and have set up a tagging system that works for me.

I might relent with some past popular posts and bring those over with me. I am definitely bringing some of the features I liked from blogger and will combine the two blogging tools for a more streamlined look. I will need a bit of time to understand all the tools and create the space I want. So do check back and give me feedback.

So which blogging tool do you use and why? If you are a wordpress blogger, which tools do you particularly like?

Update

Oh My. I managed to export my entire blog from Blogspot and imported it into WordPress. The whole site came over, including all the comments. In addition, the domain name purchase was so easy. All the hashtags imported as categories and I just need to reinput them as hashtags and identify a theme that works and I am in my new space.

The Magic of 11.

Late last year, I was tagged in a blogging meme by my online friend and TeachMeetINL mentor @arjana. She was one educator I did not get to meet face to face on my trip because between us we could not align our stars. But Arjana next time it will happen. Either you come to me or I come to you. I also liked the way she gave me feedback via twitter on my blogging meme.


I have been procrastinating writing and have been doing everything else to avoid updating my reflections. Her tweet was the jumpstart I required.

So I completed the set task and it took me three days to craft as I was away with a mini ipad to write with. I created a draft using notes and played with the idea in between swimming, sleeping and snorkelling.

As soon as I returned to my chrome, I added links and finalised my first post for 2014.

But I still cannot figure why because I posted the entry on our New Years day yet it states that the post happened on New Year’s eve.


11 has been a re-ocurring number for me in 2013 so I laughed at the unusual number. I had spent 11 weeks on a TeachNZ sabbatical and when I trawled a collaborative initiative that was part of my sabbatical output for last year, I identified 11 bloggers who had reflected on their contribution to the TeachMeetNZ project. I did not find it easy nominating virtual friends as who do I chose because I already read so many interesting blogs. For my part, I deviated from Arjana and focussed on New Zealand educators only and from that chose the ones who had reflected on TeachMeetNZ. I have been following the hashtag #bloggingmeme with interest and was excited to read @helenoftroy01 contribution by creating a Blogging Meme Doc to track the blog entries and to avoid a double up or more of being tagged. My initial chart using inspiration pales in comparison.


Those of you who read this and are New Zealand educators, what Helen has also done nicely for me is identify some of you who I will be shoulder tapping for our next TeachMeetNZ virtual session. So be ready. You will end up with a digital badge for your portfolio and a cut 3 minute video to embed on your site.


The Blogging Meme Doc has also been a motivation for me to comment on blogs that  people have written. In some ways I do feel responsible for setting the beast loose on the New Zealand tweachers. I am one of those lurkers who have been reading but not commenting as much as I could be.


If you are tagged in twitter, I would like to read about you and may I suggest being like @MFaaeaSemeatu and used her Blogging Meme as a motivation to encourage new bloggers to get started. I also liked the way Manu used google+ so combined two social medias to spread her meme. She tagged her nominated bloggers via google+ and also via twitter.


Anne spread her #magic and responded so fast with her Blogging Meme post like within the same day. From my other nominated bloggers I  have 4 who have completed the task after a few days and I will be honest and say ‘Great job’ as it took me all week from when I was tagged.

I have watched @1MvdS in her patient, gentle, persuasive way gently coaxing her Blogging Meme group into writing by giving regular updates on who had completed the task and come on the rest of you.

I enjoyed reading @MsBeenz entry and learning a little more about her and have @Allanahk remind us that this is not the first round that we have had something like this happen.

So no great pressure @hanna_fale @SwanwickC @digitallearnin @phpnz @EmmaWinder25 @emmerw @nzteachnology @hunch_box . We are supposed to be on holiday. I like the way some of you have literally disappeared from twitter but I know it will not be for long.

Anyone else reading this, if you want me to come and read your post and practice giving a comment, do tag me.

Where to next:
I stumbed on this via @FabMomBlog twitter and have made 31 my new challenge number. Don’t worry I will not be tagging anyone to join me but it you want to do let me know. In March 2014 my goal is to write daily. Like Manu, I will tag you to come and give me feedback.

My learning from all this: the 4x C’s
As my SOLOtaxonomy mentors @arti_choke and @ginnynz01  regularly remind me, reflect on the process and don’t just celebrate the product.
  • Stop procrastinating and just get on with the task. I have made better connections with New Zealand educators because part of the meme asks for 11 facts about you.
  • Something as simple as this can generate collaboration like the Blogging Meme doc.
  • We can use other social media in the task and not just twitter to celebrate the product.
  • What meme could I create to encourage blogging?  What ideas do you have?

How to embed a tweet? Thanks to @SchuKnight who willingly shared this little gem.


How to change the date on blogger to reflect current time? Thanks to @annekenn for this other little gem.