Welcome to my new learning space. For the past few years, I have been blogging with my high school students (when I was still in the classroom) and about my own learnings and experiences over at my edublogs site. While I’ve loved edublogs, I felt the need for a little more freedom and a little less hand-holding. The fact is that as a “grown-up” blogger, I felt I should get my own domain and learn the ins and outs of that process. It’s been fun. The wonderful thing about edublogs is that they run on a WordPress platform, so it was easy for me to export the entire archive and import it here. (Technical note: all of the media is still hosted on the other site, a huge undertaking to move all of that here. Not quite sure about what I’m going to do about that–I cherish my former students’ podcasts!)
In other news, I start my semester tomorrow and am planning on, once again, publishing my coursework here on this blog. Last semester, I never questioned that I would do anything other than to post my coursework here. It never occurred to me that what I was doing was anything noteworthy at all, especially after the experience of blogging with my high school students. Today, I ran across Jenna McWilliams’ great post examining the nature of openess in academia and highlighted how revolutionary it can be to learn and teach out loud. While I am not sure that I agree entirely about the reasons behind why “academics don’t really like to share,” I do love what she wrote about her own decision to post her coursework:
These are questions worth exploring, and as part of my exploration, I plan to make my academic work and development as public as possible. To this end, I’ve decided to make much of my coursework available to others by posting it to my blog. I hope that in doing this, I can offer access not only to my developing ideas but also to the process of my own development as an educational researcher. I believe that openness is not a thing so much as it’s an activity, a process, a series of small and large decisions, and I want to be honest and transparent about how and why I make those decisions.
I share my own coursework because I know that I have friends and colleagues interested in what I am doing. That sense of audience makes me feel that there is a greater purpose for my posting: not everyone can come back to school, and by sharing what I am doing and learning, I can give to others’ doings and learnings, too. I became a teacher because I felt strongly that education was the surest route to social justice, and I recognize that people need to feed their families and may not have the luxury of hanging out in this ivory tower. I believe that knowledge shared freely can only be beneficial–despite all of the arguments people make against this notion. I strongly believe that freely sharing will only enhance and improve my own understandings.
I am wondering what others think about this? Do you share your own coursework? Do you ask your students to do so?