I have hesitated a bit in writing my first post-COETAIL post, partly because of the sense of unbridled freedom that I now have in controlling the direction of where I want to take this blog, and what I want to write about. Having total creative freedom is sometimes a bit intimidating. Starting a blog, and publishing posts over an 18-month program, was a requirement of completing the COETAIL certificate. I now recognize the benefits of having my COETAIL program provide me with topics/prompts to post about – it was much easier to focus my thoughts when given a specific scenario or topic to write about.
Part of why I wanted to participate in COETAIL is because I knew it would force me to act in ways that I would find difficult to push myself, if left to my own devices. COETAIL pushed me out of my comfort zone as a professional, and thanks to the program I have a thriving, growing, and diverse PLN from which I am learning a tremendous amount. I never thought I would use Twitter, much less enjoy using Twitter, but, I can also remember a time when I disliked olives, mayonnaise, and walnuts (all on largely unfounded grounds and dubious evidence). Growing my PLN digitally, as well as locally, over the past 18 months has been one of the best parts of the COETAIL program.
The other “best part” is this bog. Blogging is an activity that I also never would have predicted I would find enjoyable. Nor would I have predicted that I would want to continue blogging after the COETAIL program. But, here I am, writing this and trying to organize my thoughts on what this space in the world-wide-web could be. I’d like it to be a place where I can write about topics in education, learning, schools, technology, and science that I find interesting. I’d also like it to be valuable for others to read.
(Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/blog-blogging-wordpress-write-684748/)
But, what to write about? It’s not that I have a lack of ideas, interests, or topics, but rather, a lack of focus. I’m going to take a page out of Seth Godin’s playbook, and try to simply blog. Simply write. Discipline myself to the habit, and (according to Seth) the focus of what the blog will eventually be will emerge over time. I hear Seth talk recently on a podcast about his commitment years ago to write a blog post every day. While I don’t think I will be reaching that metric, I do think that the general idea is a good one – post frequently, rather than over-analyze.
As Seth explains in the above video, blogging is useful not in the context of readership numbers, views, or links, but rather in the meta-cognitive benefits of thinking about what one is going to write. Seth explains that blogging’s benefits are primarily for the blogger themselves, not the reader necessarily. I find this a very interesting perspective, and anecdotally true so far in my own experience – I can attest that I have found the process of writing blog posts to be clarifying for my thinking, yet my readership is (as of this moment) quite low!
So, although I am not going to dive into any one specific topic here, I am going to end with some of the topics that I plan on exploring. Here’s a short (certainly not complete) list of a few of the topics I find most intriguing at the moment, along with a few questions that come to mind as I think about them:
- Artificial Intelligence – How can AI be used to develop responsive learning platforms that truly personalize learning? How concerned should we be about AI technology?
- Virtual and Augmented Reality Technology – How can these technologies be utilized to enhance learner engagement?
- Blended Learning Environments – How can educators design learning environments/experiences that take advantage of the best of what online and face-to-face experiences offer?
- Neuroscience – How does the brain learn? This is a fundamental question that all educators and learners should care about learning the answer to.
- Health and Meta-cognition – What are we learning about sleep, nutrition, exercise, and how can they affect how we learn? How are our own thought patterns influencing how we learn?
I’m looking forward to writing about these topics in more detail, and sharing my thoughts about them. What would be topics you would find most interesting to read about? Please leave a comment below! Thanks for reading!