6 04 2010

The Riley Guide defines self-assessment as, “a process by which you learn more about yourself — what you like, what you don’t like, and how you tend to react to certain situations.” After almost three months of blogging, I’ve certainly gained a better understanding of what I like and don’t like – and what concepts in the worlds of education, arts, and technology interest me the most and the least. The professor who gave me the initiative to first create this blog commented on one of my earliest posts, that blogging could be “the ideal creative vehicle” for me. And honestly, blogging has become this for me. Blogging has allowed me to combine my love for research with my love for writing and creative ideas, and gather the information I learn and enjoy in an organized fashion. I’ve learned a great deal through the writing and research that I’ve done specifically for this blog – along with constantly learning from other’s blogs and from the comments and conversations I’ve had from my blogs (and theirs).

As much as I’ve been keeping up with my blog because I knew my professor and fellow classmates would be reading it, I’ve also  (and mostly) been keeping up with it out of my own desire to research, learn, gather, organize and write about the topics that interest me. And this enjoyment and excitement that I would say I find in blogging is one of the main factors that allows me to give myself an A in my overall assessment of my own blog.  However, this is my one bit of a disclaimer before entering into my self-assessment: I invested the time I did into my blog for myself, my own enjoyment and my own creative interests, far more than I did for any external forces or reasons (professors, class mates, grades etc).

Jesse North wrote in her most recent post, “In a way I feel like I’m posting an inner-most secret of mine all over my blog by doing this, but alas, it must be done.  Here goes nothing!” I must say that I completely understand her here, and will admit that it’s taken me the entire week to mentally accept giving these statistics away. It was not until I reasoned and came to the conclusion that this way the easiest way to share these things with my professor, that I am finally writing this.

Statistically speaking, as of 11:50am on April 6 (today) I’ve had 504 total views of my blog, and 29 on the busiest day, March 26, 2010. You can see this in the chart(s) below – along with the Stats breaking my blog views into per day, per week and per month.

In the last three months I’ve posted 12 times, and from that, 20  comments were generated. As seen in the chart below – on my most popular blog pages – my home page was my most looked at page, followed by my About me, my passions, my words page, followed by my blog entitled Listen deeply: tell digital stories page, and then Writing out of the blog rut, and so on:

In her blog on self-assessment, Jessie Bindrim wrote, “Now here’s the zinger of the self assessment, quality. More specifically, what makes a quality post?” Besides my first one or two posts, I feel that the majority of my posts were of a high quality and rather lengthy. Rather than writing many short posts, I found more satisfaction in writing deeper and longer posts only once or twice a week, but packing them with several hours of research and information. As mentioned in my first two paragraphs of this post, my self-discipline over the last three months has been what I consider excellent, due to the enjoyment, feelings of accomplishment, amount learned etc. I’ve received from working with my blog. I’ve written almost one blog per week. Although I seem to have missed writing a post for two weeks (not in a row), I made up for those weeks by writing two and three posts some weeks.Those posts that stand out to me, were either the ones that generated the most or best comments, or the ones that i enjoyed writing the most:  Writing out of the blog rut, Teachers and/or technology and Storytelling supports learning, imagination, and creativity. My previous blog, Creativity, education, and the future was one of my most enjoyable posts to write so far in terms of research and information, however, it has not generated near as many comments or hits as some of my other posts.

In regards to the conversations and comments that I received and were generated from my twelve blog posts so far, I had several extremely exciting comments. On the busiest day in my blog’s history, March 26th Tim Ereneta, a storyteller from California, commented on my blog in regards to my post Storytelling supports learning, imagination, and creativity. After mentioning Ereneta in this blog, he left an encouraging and insightful comment.

And then, there March 16th, the day Jeff Utecht (author of the blog, The Thinking Stick and educator, consultant and presenter) left a comment on my post all the way from the International School Bangkok and left me starstruck all day (and week, and month). If this was not the highlight of my life thus far, it was certainly the highlight of my blog-life. Note: The names and blogs above are not linked in hopes of preventing pingbacks and thus, Jeff Utecht from ever reading this.

As for the other 18 comments, while none left me as enchanted as the one mentioned above, all of the others, left by my classmates and professor were greatly appreciated, often helpful and wonderful.

According to My Comments I believe that thus far I’ve left only eight comments to others. This is what I consider the weakest aspect/part of my PLN currently, and is something I would like to improve upon over the next four weeks. While I read most of my classmates blogs, I would like to give more feedback and have more conversations with them and others in the future. This improvement could also carry into my Ning networks and PICCLE-life. However, if pingbacks and links are a form of feedback (which I believe they are) then I believe my blog is still quite developed in this area. As for PICCLE, mentioned above, I completely agree with what Jessie Bindrim said, that “What isn’t being counted in this class but should be is the fact that we have all been PICCLEing regularly, having conversations with PDS students throughout the semester.”

Overall, with the amount of time I’ve been putting into the research and writing of my blogs, I am extremely satisfied with my blog. Time is currently the biggest hurdle in allowing or not allowing me to further improve and advance my blog. While I would most like to improve on commenting on other’s blogs, I am very pleased with my own and would be content with it, if I was able to keep it to the level it has been over the past three months, for the next four weeks. I have created what I believe to be a solid PLN, and have developed skills that I will surely take with me into both my career and student teaching, and into simply life. Also, instead of seeing this blog just in terms of this semester – four more weeks – I have begun to think about this blog in terms of much more. When time is finally on my side and my junior year is over, I plan to continue developing this blog and my research, and using it as a way to organize my findings of topics perhaps beyond education and technology. Though I think I deserve an A for my blog, there is of course room for both improvement and for more researching, writing and learning. Also, once I realized how much I gained from and enjoyed blogging, this blog quickly became not about the grade. Blogging has indeed become “the ideal creative vehicle” for me, and I plan to continue learning and writing along the blogging road.




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