Friday, September 6, 2013

Reflections on old friends and past deeds

In 2009 I ran a series of classes with 13 year old students looking at the the future of education and we used ideas from The Horizon Reports. Despite the work being really quite challenging for students and staff involved, it did give the opportunity to students to self direct and take considerable control of their learning.

Now, for a number of reasons, we discontinued the project. The first site the girls put up to share their project was in March/April of 2009. It used the 2008 Horizon Report as its base and we rolled in a number of "guest speakers" by means of video and YouTube to help set the scene. Once the project was complete (April 2009) I thought "That's it - no one will visit this site ever again." So it was with some surprise that I looked several months later to see that the site was attracting visitors still. Into 2010 the site was attracting more visitors, though the site was not updated at any stage.

So, today in my inbox was the usual start of US school year updates ... and so I thought I'd go back to one of my old friends, Wikispaces, and just see if anything was still happening around the old site. Here's what I found. Looks like around 25 views per day pretty consistently ... most views are coming form the US, but a lot from Canada, UK and Australia too. Views from NZ hardly rank.

So - whatever these students did, and whatever they wrote and contributed, some people in other geographies are finding some value in it.

The other thing I thought about was my own blog - this one. I haven't written much this year - not that I haven't wanted to, just have not found the time/priority to do it. Despite this - the viewership has actually gone up! Now that tells me something!

Anyway - my reflection is this.

I blog for two main reasons.
  1. Reflecting in a public environment about educational matters is important - to me anyway. It helps me clarify my own views and opinions.
  2. Just maybe ... something I have to contribute will spark something in someone else, somewhere else.

I have students blog for the similar reasons.

And you never know how long after you said what you said - someone else might just find it useful. On this blog the main attraction has been the post on Google Docs as a time line creator. I put this up last year some time. Every day several seem to head to this page. Great. Whatever I said then was true at the time!

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