Reflections

TechKNOW Tools Blog Year in Review – Top Posts for 2012

Although I am off the grid for the holidays, I thought I would thank those of you who share, read, RT, and comment on my TechKNOW Tools blog. I started this particular blog for a learning workshop and seminar back in 2009, but then switched to blog about what I am learning, reading, presenting, and more. I try to share ideas for educators, trainers, and others around the topics of learning, technology, and design. I rarely post a “top viewed” blog post, but I thought I might as well share the favored posts from 2012 as I ponder about blog topics for 2013.

Title Views
I Tumblr For You… To Reflect. 4,184
The Productive & Disruptive Innovation of EDU 1,236
Organizational Learning Constructs 1,219
A @PhD2Published Post: A Book Review is #AcWri Too 962
Online Learning: More Than Just a MOOC 829
LMS/LCMS Review 822
My Prolegomenon to Technology 775
Facebook for Learning Communities: Groups vs. Pages 750
Going Mobile for Academic Advising: Tablets, iPads & Protocols on Campus 550
What’s Your Research Methods Worldview? 527
Social Media Strategies in Student Affairs 527
Backwards Design with TED-Ed 436

I appreciate the community of bloggers who I read and learn from – you inspire and challenge me to think and consider how and when I share. Thanks for reading and engaging with me. All the best in 2013!

Happy-2013-560x420

blogs

HOW TO: Set Up A WordPress Blog


  1. Go to WordPress (WP) http://wordpress.com/; Here’s the Get Started guide from WP for further help: http://learn.wordpress.com/get-started/
  2. Click on the “Sign Up for Free” blue button in the middle of the page.
  3. Select and enter: blog name, username, email & log-in information. Consider a name that you will want to use & share for your blog.
  4. Click the “Create Blog” Button for your FREE WP Blog
  5. Go to the email address you entered to Activate your blog
  6. Choose a starter theme for your blog. Be sure to click the “Show More Themes” button at the bottom & select a FREE theme
  7. To update your blog log into the wordpress.com website OR go to YourBlogName.wordpress.com/wp-admin & sign in
  8. Go to your WP Blog Dashboard to set up and personalize your blog & check out http://learn.wordpress.com/ to customize

Resources:
What is a Blog? via @ProBlogger
How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Beginners via @ProBlogger
Warning: Do You Recognize These 21 Blogging Mistakes? via @ProBlogger
Blogging as literacy via Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth)
WP Tutorials http://wordpress.tv/
85 wordpress plugins for blogging journalists | Online Journalism Blog
12 Must-Do Tasks for the New WordPress Site Owner | Copyblogger

AcAdv, nacada, NACADA Tech

The @NACADA TechTalk Series – #AdvTech in 140 Characters Or Less

The @NACADA TechTalk Series is sponsored by the NACADA Technology in Advising Commission. These free, online webcasts were designed to introduce advising professionals and faculty to ideas and suggested practices for using technology in advising. **Join the Twitter backchannel & conversation using the #AdvTech hashtag**

Here is the NACADA TechTalk program run down for the week with descriptions in 140 characters or less and the archived recording, notes & more from each session:

Monday, August 6 – The Speech that was Never a Blog Post: Trends and Future for Technology in Advising

Join @NACADA President @uoadvdir as she shares future #AdvTech trends in #HigherEd that will impact your campus & advising #AcAdv
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Tuesday, August 7 – What the Tweet?: @AcAdvChat & the #AcAdv Community Using Twitter for Professional Development

Have u followed @AcAdvChat on Twitter? @peacox , @HowardSJ & @BilMorrill will share the conversation & community that is #AcAdv Chat #advtech

Wednesday, August 8 – Advising Technology Mythbusting: Guidance and Challenges for Using Social Media on Campus

Communications 101 + #SocialMedia Strategy + Privacy Concerns + #AdvTech Mythbusting = Web #AcAdv Tips from @julieclarsen@EricStoller

Thursday, August 9 – Advising Reflections & Sharing: Blogging to Support our Profession & Student Learning Outcomes

Blogs are for sharing, reflection & more! Listen to #AcAdv @jbarkemeyer , @sally_garner & @EstherChung2 tell their #AdvTech blogging tales.

Friday, August 10 – Technology Adoption & Life Cycle: From Implementation to Evaluation of Technology in Advising

So you have an #AdvTech idea? @gsteele1220 & @cschwenn have a plan for that! Come learn about #AcAdv tech life cycle from start to finish.

THANK YOU FOR ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE NACADA TECHTALK SERIES!

What an amazing and fun time we had. I hope you find the above resources helpful, and be sure to let us know what Technology in Advising issues you want to learn more about if we offer more NACADA TechTalks in the future.

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, PhD, Professional Development, Reflections

What Prompts You To Blog?

Blog prompts are all around me. I started blogging in 2006 to share travel tales and I continued to blog to tell a different story and share my academic journey and musings. I typically blog to share ideas, research, and reflect on what I’m doing, learning, or experiencing – at least on this blog space.

Image c/o <http://www.weblogcartoons.com/cartoons/sifting-through-ideas.gif>

Sometimes my blog ideas get filtered. I don’t always have time to write these thoughts out, so I often have to save this blog-worthy idea for later in my Delicious account, a WP draft post, or, most commonly, in WP, in a Gmail draft or Google Doc. During the crunch time of year, when all academic and professional deadlines seem to merge, my attention tends to drift. I find myself looking for interesting things to read and I seem to be more inspired to write blogs. I consider this digression to be a form of “productive procrastination.”

Inspired by the blog post from @InnovativeEdu, I thought I would share where I get my blog ideas from and what prompts me to blog:

  1. My regular online reading locations – I typically check my Google Reader, Twitter streams/hashtags, Google Alerts, social feeds, Percolate, and regular listservs/news feeds first thing in the morning. Sometimes there is a gem that I want to talk about in greater detail than just sharing it in a 140 tweet.
  2. Things I have to read “for school” – I am sure that no one is shocked to learn that you consume a hefty amount of reading while you’re a doctoral student. Beyond the “required reading” for class, I also stumble upon other finds when researching, compiling articles for my literature review and writing articles. Blogging helps me annotate and remember these theories, articles, and references in a synthesized portion to recall and use later.
  3. From conversations with peers & my PLN – I am fortunate to interact with a number of thoughtful and challenging peers on Facebook, Twitter, G-Chat, my campus, LinkedIn, Skype, and by phone. At least once a week (usually more often) I am fortunate to dialogue about something that makes me think and I want to write about in a blog to share
  4. Great finds for technology, learning ,and engagement I just want to share – Sharing – it was a good lesson I learned in kindergarten and have taken with me along the way.
  5. A photo or video that inspires me – I am a fairly active Flickr user, and  think that there are a great groups and community members that share visual inspirations that create a blogging spark. Lately Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, and the odd infographic (there are too many of them now) have triggered ideas for blogging projects and shares.
  6. Professional & personal development opportunities – Whether it is a workshop on campus, a webinar online or an open learning session in the community, there are loads of ideas to reflect and bring back to my personal learning network (PLN).
  7. A question or request for advice – Sometimes I get an email, IM or call from individuals who want to talk about an issue or idea. When questions about technology in advising, education challenges, research process, or academic experience advice come up, I think how sharing this information in a blog post could be helpful to others who just have not asked.
  8. A Tweet – 140 characters shared on Twitter from either from me or someone else can inspire a blog draft. A tweet might include a quote, question, argument, Twitter chat, link, or random thought.
  9. Reading other posts & threaded comments – In reading a threaded discussion on someone’s blog, Facebook wall or open discussion in LinkedIn challenges me to consider my own perspective to later process it through a blog post.
  10. My own curiosity – If I want to learn more about a product, tool. vendor, process, or topic, I typically share what I have found on my blog.
  11. Contributions or things I produce – I document things I create for publications, podcasts, and presentations. Part of this is for my doctoral portfolio (ATPI is similar to the ECMP portfolio requirements, so I try to archive my work/experiences) and the other part is to share training and learning sessions. Why not put these ideas out there to extend to the audience that could not attend?
  12. Writing, writing and MORE writing – I write regularly. I started using 750words to keep me writing regularly to keep me writing. This activity helps weave my thoughts and develop new ones. Continuous writing allows me to practice my craft and improve how and what I write about.
  13. Cultivation of resources – My research interests vary and are interdisciplinary, so I collect a load of  resources – this could also be a direct result of #1, 2, 4, 6, & 8. Blogging helps me to  connect and process my thoughts to share with peers in these academic and professional fields.

I am sure there are other reasons, but those were the first few that came to my head. So the question for you is… what prompts YOU to blog? Please share. 

blogs, Higher Education, NACADA Tech Seminar 2009

Advisors Who Blog.

Interested in getting your advising message out to students quickly? Looking to provide insight & tips for students? Want to be a master of your web content?

Well you CAN! Many advisors are blogging their content for student advisees. This is a quick method of information distribution and a great way to “stay in touch” with students.

Thanks goes out to Joshua Gaynor (from Columbia University) who prompted an inquiry about other advising blogs and here’s just a few I started archiving on my wiki:

These are just a few, and I know that there are LOTS more where they come from. If you are an advisor/office/student uses blogs for academic advising, I would LOVE for you to post a comment with your blog. If you are not an advisor, but still blog in higher education be sure to check out a previous post about bloggers in the profession.

blogs

Are Blogs Old News?

Just as I sit down to post something new & exciting on this blog, I stumble open an interesting article from Wired magazine which questions how “now” blogs really are.  The journalist goes on to say that the Top 100 blogs are beginning to look more like online magazines, rather than tradition blogs.

In reading more into this article, the main concern is that blogging does require a certain skill-set & knack for attracting readers.  It argues that social online tools, i.e. Facebook, Twitter & Flickr, put all online users on an equal foot. 

Check out some “experts” in the blog field to gain further insights on how YOU can begin blogging or become a better blogger: