I have started two other blogs, but not on Blogger this time. I want to experiment with WordPress as I will be giving a workshop on Blogging Towards Autonomy during the Hornby Summer School next Tuesday, January 10th.
I do not know whether this is a wise move, as most of the participants, according to a survey I posted on Survey Monkey have not had any experience in webpublishing. Time, experience and you will tell me, but I am willing to face the challenge and take the risk. I think that WordPress feels like a more powerful and efficient CMS (content management system) in the long run. This will allow for different levels of publishing permissions and categories. The possibility of choosing between dynamic (blogging) and static pages (for official information) is also interesting as we can use static pages for course content, or timetable and the blogging section for timely interventions, comments or suggestions.
While writing this, I have stopped to think about the different perspectives and roles I am adopting during this process.
Perspective number one is that of the guest speaker, first organizing and preparing the workshop , then “in loco” guiding learners into discovering and using the tool and trying to convey “what blogging can do for you”. It is important for teachers to document their teaching/learning experience by publishing their reflections, create their own professional portfolio and produce their own material.
A tall order some will say and will call me a dreamer, but I feel I am more practical and down to earth, more of a gardener, trying to sow the seeds of change in some cases or just raise the awareness that there is a variety of different plants and environements around. Whether this will be a fruitful crop, whether plants will resist all weathers, need a greenhouse or simply perish is again a matter of time, practice and reflection. Learning and autonomy cannot be achieved through an instant ten-step recipe or a 10-day immersion course. They are part of a life-long cyclical process.
The second one is as the administrator of the Mother blog: signing up for an account and noting down the steps, exploring and documenting the reactions to the environment, discovering its strenght and weaknesses, dealing with the technical constraints.
The third will be of a publisher and reporter, documenting the event, collecting information from the tutors to post and adding links and material to complement what is being discussed.
Finally there is me, my own voice, and my role, not only as an external observer but also as one involved in the process. This is the toughest perspective to dissociate from the others as it permeates all the previous ones. This is the one that reaches out and connects to the OTHER and the world.
What is difficult is to categorize these different posts and decide where to post – many times the roles seem to overlap. Any suggestions?