Monday, 26 November 2012

Blog 6: To Blog or Not to Blog?

Retrieved from:

As I sit here writing what perhaps may be my final blog entry, I reflect upon the challenges and rewards of blogging. Although my experience has been brief, I have gained greater insight into the act of blogging, myself as a learner and the many opportunities that exist to connect with others. 

Below is what I've learned about myself and blogging so far...

  • identifying key topics and/or issues to include in my blog
  • evaluating the relevance of what I choose to blog about
  • developing motivation to blog beyond what is required
  • authoring to an invisible audience/readership
  • extending blogging beyond academic purposes to the personal
  • investing time into researching topics that I would not otherwise pursue
  • recognizing my growth and development as a blogger
  • dwelling on relevant topics related to education and technology
  • participating in a collective that has supported my learning
  • reading others' blogs to consider the perspectives, values and interests of others

Through the exercise of blogging, I have learned to develop greater trust and confidence in working collaboratively beyond face-to-face interaction. Initially, I was very hesitant and anxious about my ability to communicate effectively with others and unsure as to how I would develop an online presence. Through blogging, I believe I have learned to do both - although there is still room to grow.

I have found that interacting with others online has encouraged me to become more conscious and purposeful in word choice and content. I have learned to evaluate and edit my ideas, always being mindful of my audience. This has also caused me to become more reflective in my learning - to explore and challenge myself to investigate unfamiliar topics and questions that would otherwise be left unanswered.

The Verdict
I remain undecided as to whether I will continue blogging. There are many reasons why I should continue. However, I believe I need to step back to evaluate the motivation and meaning behind my decision to do so.

This blog may be inactive in the next few weeks, months or perhaps indefinitely. However, from this novice experience of blogging, another may arise. That is a decision to be made in another time and place.

Many thanks to everyone who has taken time to read this blog. Your comments and contributions have made this first experience and journey worthwhile.



Here are some articles related to whether one should continue blogging:

To Blog or Not to Blog: Why Female Academics Should Take the Risk

Young Bloggers Stop Blogging and Grow Up, Study Says

Should You Stop Blogging?

Monday, 12 November 2012

Blog 5: Exploring Creativity and Play

Inspired from our blackboard discussion this past week on ‘Play’ I continued to explore its meaning, importance and impact on learning.   

As stated on blackboard, “I believe play is foundational to the human experience. In making this statement, I think of the many newborns and toddlers I have interacted with in the last few weeks. It is natural for young children to interact with others through imagined and structured play. As they become immersed in the cultural values of industriousness and productivity, the priority and enjoyment of play becomes suppressed and unfortunately diminishes over time. If play is essential to learning then it needs to be made more visible, alive and acceptable in the culture of our classrooms. Play needs to be reframed as a positive means to learn and not viewed as avoidance to learning. Creating opportunities to 'play' while you work should not be the exception but the rule for our students.”

Our adult habits lead to limits on creativity as we invent and rely on rules to govern our ideas. When we formulate ideas, we ‘self-edit’ which immediately diminishes our ability to be truly engaged in play. We develop a fearfulness in sharing our ideas, which leads to conservativeness in our thinking. We often limit ourselves to activities and experiences that have productive capital gains which can hinder our growth and development as playful beings.

What would happen if we developed a notion of “productive play?”

Tim Brown: Tales of Creativity and Play

As suggested by Brown, “A new nuance of play needs to be developed. Surrender oneself to the experience of play. Forget adult behaviours that get in the way of our ideas. As adults, we need to learn how to transition in and out of play. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that we have to be either playful or serious but you cannot be both. However, it’s not an either, or but an and." 

"As adults we can be serious and play."

If we learn by doing, then as adults, we need to address our reluctance to play - to invest greater time and effort to cultivate and establish play into our lives. 

How do we develop greater security and trust in ourselves to become more playful and creative?

As suggested in Brown’s video, develop your playfulness by "thinking with your hands." 

Try the following:
  1. Create a list of uses for a paperclip.
  2. Create a list of uses for aluminum foil. 
  3. Create something new from a discarded cardboard box. 
  4. Complete the thirty circles test.


All images retrieved from, November 12, 2012

Tim Brown: Tales of Creativity and Play (retrieved November 12, 2012)

Monday, 29 October 2012

Blog 4: Weathering the "Storms" in America


I have always had a strong fascination for American politics. 

In 1967, when given the choice to immigrate to a new country, my father chose Canada while the rest of his siblings choose the United States of America. Thus, the imaginary line of the 49th parallel separate me from my extended family.  Although I cannot claim to fully understand how the American political system works, I am drawn to its lively banter driven by a deeply embedded belief in free speech, it's charismatic leadership and the sharp left and right wing party divisions. I have found myself watching the televised presidential debates in the last few weeks - not for reasons for nothing else to watch on TV but rather due to my beliefs that what happens in America impacts us as Canadians. 

With the federal election only one week away I have found my interest intensified in looking at how technology and social media is used in the political realm. More specifically, I wanted to see how Obama is using it to support his campaign.  

Out of curiosity I took the time to search out Barack Obama's Official Election Blog as well as his Tumblr site ( and Both are chock full of media and content related to key election issues (ex. healthcare, unemployment/job creation, and finances). Not surprising, it also has endorsements from well-known political figures as well as the “everyday” American urging voters to re-elect Obama into his second term. They also contain focused video footage of Obama on the campaign trail.

Current projections of election results have voters split between Obama and Romney, making this election too close to declare a front-runner. Every American media source, whether print or digital has in the last few months has narrowed down its scope and content to center upon the election. However, with the unexpected arrival of Hurricane Sandy this weekend, election news and focus have been temporarily put on hold.

As I watch the news on CNN, the criticism for each candidate in altering his campaign travel plans in response to the storm surprises me. From this, I am again reminded of how highly Americans value free speech. Obama (as he is still President) needs to attend to his presidential duties while Romney continues to speak at scheduled events. Whether this will work out in the favor of either candidate is to be seen. Obama’s handling of this weather event will either boost the likelihood of his reelection or undermine it. Hurricane Sandy has added an unexpected element to this election. 

As a proud Canadian, I continue to work out my fascination with American politics. 
  • Is it because we are constantly inundated with American news?
  • Is it because social media has made it readily accessible to us?
  • Is it because a large part of my family is American?
If I were allowed cast my ballot, I know already who I’d vote for. I’ll be watching the election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. How about you?