blogs, Reflections

TechKNOW Tool 2013 – Blog Posts In Review

In the process of auditing my social media and web life, I thought I’d take a gander at what I blogged about in 2013. What the heck was I reflecting and sharing in 2013?

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 8.26.57 AM

Photo from  marsmettnn tallahase on Flickr

TechKNOW Tools received a number of views on older blog posts; however the key themes that were clicked on for 2013 included: academic writing, research gathering, teaching support, role transition, job search/application, conference sharing, learning design, and social media auditing.

Thanks for reading, and following along. I’ll be sure to share more in 2014. 🙂

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Digital Clean Up: Social Media Audit & How Not to Be Hacked
Lucky 13: Top Blog Post Views for Summer 2013
The PhD: Troubles Talk… and Moan… and So On
Using Verbs for Specific Learning Outcomes
Supporting Student Success at #UFTL13
#EDUSprint 1: Beyond MOOCs – IT as a Force of Change
Do You Have Social Media Goals?
The Dissertation Proposal. #phdchat
Your Higher Ed Website + Search: “Social Media Guidelines” or “Social Media Policy” = A Database for My Dissertation Research
Help My #ugstSTORY Class Tell Their Story
Gathering #SocialMedia Guidelines from Higher Education #SoMe #edusomedia #highered
#SXSWedu Panel: Social Media in Higher Ed – Where Are We Going? #smHE
#AdvTech at #nacada13…More Than Just a Hashtag!
#AcWriMo In Review: My Output
#AcWriMo & Accountability to Write
#AcWriMo Peer Pressure: Time, Challenge/Support & Cheerleaders
My #AcWriMo Goals for November
I’m “On the [Job] Market”: The Application Process
Passing the Torch: Leadership Transition in Our Professional Organizations
The Vitae: Brewing Academic Experience for Your CV
#phdchat, ATPI, PhD, Professional Development, Reflections

ATPI Doctoral Portfolio Reflection

This weekend will involve the usual researching, writing, and editing of projects – however I have one more item to polish up before it’s time to be thankful in the U.S. – my doctoral portfolio.

For the Applied Technology & Performance Improvement Doctorate (ATPI) program, the doctoral portfolio is a new requirement for us young, budding scholars. Rather than sit in a room for two 8-hour days or respond to a set of questions over a period of time, ATPI doctoral students will need to complete our departments Ph.D. portfolio to officially become a Doctoral Candidate and move forward with dissertation work. Some students in our program are still opting to take the comprehensive exam route while they still can, only because the requirements include research, teaching, and service scholarship experience that is akin with academics who might be seeking tenure/promotion. I think that this portfolio makes sense, professionally it helps to document my PhD Journey and encourages students to gain scholarship experience before being launched into a dissertation or even the academic job search.

Here are the ATPI Doctoral Portfolio Requirements [DRAFT] that I have been using to guide my portfolio development. {I say draft as this document is subject to change since our department will have myself and another student defend in December for the 1st time.}

I promise to share my ATPI doctoral portfolio, after I review it and put the finishes touches on it. I learned a great deal from our “dry-run” on Friday, and I was reminded about some of the key things to highlight in my 15-minute presentation. I am also pleased to say that I will be sharing my digital PhD journey (blogging, tweeting, and then some) with my doctoral committee for my portfolio defense. My faculty advisor and another committee member thought it would be valuable to discuss my philosophy and experience as an open educator/scholar/researcher.

In thinking about how to “show case” some of this, I am looking through my blog for musings and what I have been up to over the last 3 years of my doctoral course work. So far my TechKNOW Tools Wordle reflects this:

TechKNOW Tools Blog Wordle

I also know that my digital footprint can be found in my Google Docs (or now Drive), YouTube channel, Dropbox, shared on my SlideShare account, posted on my Flickr account in photos, and even among my 23, 926 tweets (good thing I auto-send these into Delicious with hashtags for easy searching). Time to mine my own digital data, review what I’ve created, and compile my professional development and scholarship.

Grad Students & PhD Friends: How do you track your progress? Professional development? Teaching, service, and research scholarship? Please share!

blogs, Learning Community, Open Education, Reflections

Education Bloggers Research – My Blog Survey

After reading @mweller ‘s blog survey for Alice Bell’s research on education bloggers, I thought that I might as well contribute to the study since I sometimes write about education, learning, and the likes here on TechKNOW Tools. From the post from Alice, it looks as though she will collect responses via e-mail (edubloggingstudy@gmail.com) or via your own blog (so you can share responses with your readers) – and send her the link. If you’re an education blogger, perhaps you too should contribute to the research. All responses are due by by the 15th of June. This sounds interesting and useful – I look forward to hearing about the analysis, but for now here is my blog survey…

Blog URL: techknowtools.wordpress.com 

What do you blog about? Learning networks & environments, academic advising, educational technology, higher education, doctoral stuff, research and writing, training and development, instructional pedagogy & design, social web & open access, podcasting, student affairs, and then some.

Are you paid to blog? No. Only in digital high fives and thanks.

What do you do professionally (other than blog)? Academic Counselor/Instructor & Doctoral Student

How long have you been blogging at this site? Since October 23, 2008 [say my WP Sitestats].

Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?) I have published book chapters, academic papers, peer-reviewed journal publications, conference papers and proceedings, other blog contributions (like BreakDrink.com and personal blog), and online magazine contributions.

Can you remember why you started blogging? I started blogging personally in 2006 when I was working and travelling around to different countries (on another blogging website); and I started to blog here after reading a number of educational and learning blogs. This blog was created  as a space to share ideas and resources for a NACADA Technology Seminar learning community back in February 2009 – my friend Eric Stoller suggested I try out WordPress since I was using Blogger for my personal blog.  This blog soon evolved into a space where I curated content around what I was reading, writing, researching, or working on related to learning technologies and other issues related in education and training development.

What keeps you blogging? I enjoy it. My academic background in history and education might take some of the credit for blogging. I use my blog to reflect and think about things. It is also a great space to archive, document and curate what I am up to and what I am learning or reading about.  Now blogging is just part of my regular routine. I like starting the conversation here, sharing it in my networks and then learning what others think.

Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How? My Google Feedburner says I have 61 subscribers & Sitestats says I have 29 follows on WP with 115,072 views from 49 countries. I might consider using Google Analytics to track this better in the future, but at the end of the day I think I blog for me than my audience. My audience is composed of higher education professionals, faculty, teachers and instructors from fields in training and development, marketing, management, technology, and education.

What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog? Typically I have seen more shares of my blog posts on Twitter and Facebook. I have a great network and community that often engage on there more than here. Although the traffic and views are outside WP, I do appreciate and I am delighted to receive a blog comments on here from time to time (Thanks!). I would say that I have better relationships and interactions with those who comment “off the blog.” Some of my blogging prompts shared dialogues on other networks or with other peers who share similar interests.

Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre of blogging? (e.g. schools, science, education, museums, technology) Sort of? I think technology and  learning – but I have been known to dive into training and development, organizational management, and higher education due to the nature of my academic program/professional interests.

If so, what does that community give you? I think this community is like the “Office Water Cooler” I have always wanted. It’s a great place to catch up, share interesting news, find out about new resources, swap great ideas, and stay in touch with my personal learning network.

What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations? I shared my thoughts in the “What Prompts You To Blog?” post last month => https://techknowtools.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/what-prompts-you-to-blog/

I think blogging has supported my digital scholarship as a transparent and open researcher and writer. There could be limitations to this, as I often share ideas and references before the referred journal article is published and there is that possibility that others could “borrow” it. The other challenge I can see is the need to publish or perish to make it through the academic ranks for jobs and tenure. Although my writing style is more informal and offers a variety of structure I do enjoy the practice of writing and processes what I am writing. Unfortunately blogging does not equate a journal article and I am aware of the need to contribute to traditional publications and peer-reviewed work to support my career path in academia.

Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss) I think most of my offline (i.e. not in social networks) family or friends know that I “do stuff with technology” and most have some idea of what a blog is. I share the odd blog post with a limited number folks who are not exposed to this blog regularly  (like my boss & parents) if there is a topic something that might interest them. I use another blog and a Flickr account to share more of my “life happenings” so my friends and family are not bored with any of my geek/nerd ramblings on this blog.

Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked? I think you have covered most. Good luck with your research! I look forward to hearing how it goes. 🙂

blogs, Social Media

Characteristics of Blog Design

Today I found a great article on how to pretty up your blog, especially if you are blogging for professional reasons.  I think I will do a bit of blog design review & updates as well.

the-computer-demands-a-blog

The 13 Characteristics of Outstanding Blog Design include:

1. Readability

2. Useful Sidebars

3. Unique

4. Comment Design

5. Integration of Ads (for professional blogs)

6. Effective, Usable Navigation

7. Images in Posts

8. Footer Design

9. Color Scheme

10. Icons

12. Subscription Areas

13. Social Media Integration

 

For those of you who are just starting out, be sure to check out these tips from PROBLOGGER that shares Blog Design for Beginners.

blogs

Just Blog It, HigherEd!

blog

For those of you in higher education who either blog or read blogs on a regular basis, you might be interested in learning more about BlogHigherEd

This is an excellent network that aggregate blogs from ALL over the realm of higher education, including faculty, webmasters, administrators, marketers, vendors, counselors, consultants, etc on their current blogroll.  It’s a great area to find people doing similar things and learn about new ideas going on all over the world.  Happy reading!