Seems I’m forever saddled with Bloglines backup these days, and it’s so frustrating not to have the time to read and think and write as much as I’d like to. And then when I do have the time, I read such interesting stuff that it’s hard not to take extra time to read and reread and dwell on the ideas. I’m starting to think that in my perfect blog world, I would have only about 20 kick butt feeds in my aggregator that I could just slowly chew through and breathe with, and then turn into some decent blogging. When I feel like my blogging sucks, like I have the past couple of weeks, it’s not about the writing. It’s about not having the time to read. I think that’s one of the most interesting things about this practice, by the way, one that not a lot of people really understand until they do it. Learning to me does not come very much from transcribling my life as it does capturing provocative ideas and deconstructing their meaning and relevance in my own practice. That’s where this becomes a lifelong learning addiction, in the connections between the reading and the writing.
The good news is that not everyone blogs like Barbara Ganley, ’cause if they did, I’d manage only five or six feeds max. Her latest post covers the ways in which she’s getting out her students’ way even more through blogs and podcasts and digital storytelling. She talks about teacher as DJ:
I believe wholeheartedly in having a huge stockpile of exercises and assignments in my pocket, and then ditching them all for something that evolves, that emerges from the learning community and the learning moment.
She talks about learning as a process, not an event:
So I am comfortable viewing the course as a living organism that will often take us places unanticipated at the beginning of the semester or even at the beginning of the class hour. This is an essential characteristic, I believe, of a successful blogging teacher.
And she writes about reinvention:
I have resisted setting up many guidelines for the stories–I want them to feel their way to their stories from this moment here in time. And right now, many of them are surely thinking that I have lost my mind–they look for the due dates; the detailed, clear instructions for success; and they really wonder why we aren’t just sticking to notebooks and keeping their creative writing, for the most part, private, between covers where for many of them it has lived since they were children, or slipped to the professor only when absolutely necessary…And we will blog–sharing the bumps, the pleasures, the questions, the discoveries. Already they feel self-conscious about posting, but that they are writing about that self-consciousness in their opening posts shows a willingness to speak honestly. Even i this opening week, the comments they leave one another illustrate already what the connectedness of social software can do for our students–they do not feel isolated in their learning, and if they feel a connection with others, well then, they will engage with the learning opportunities the group offers.
That is such good writing, and such good reading of the kind that makes me promise myself that in my own reinvention I will make time for my own process every day as an important part of my learning.