It was 4 years ago today that I sat one evening in my villa in Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates, and wrote my first blog piece. It seems like only yesterday! My initial period of blogging was a little sporadic with some months containing 2 or 3 posts while other months contained nothing. It has only been in the last year or so that I have tried to reach some regularity in my rate of posting with an aim of writing something at least on a weekly basis.
In the four years a lot has changed. Four years ago I was an educational consultant working in UAE whereas now I am back in the UK in the independent school sector. Four years ago I was in my thirties and I am now in my forties. Four years ago my son was at the start of his school life however now he is towards the end of his primary education. Four years ago I was relatively negative about the use of Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) and iPads whereas now I am very positive about iPads although my dislike of IWBs remains. Four years ago I had a degree and a postgraduate certificate, now I have a Masters along with various other EdTech related statuses. So in four years, more experience, four years older, a different country, a different educational sector and a different context. Its amazing what can change over four years!
Looking back I have found my blog to be a useful window into my thoughts over the last four years. It has been interesting the number of times upon re-reading an entry I have found my memory of events to have been challenged. Being able to reflect and compare has been very useful indeed.
The actual act of writing a blog piece is useful in itself in that it forces you to order and organise your thoughts before, or as, you type them out. The process alone has made me reconsider my point of view on at least a few occasions.
As an avid consumer of online educational content through twitter, Pinterest and the blogs of variety of different educationalists I am always conscious of the one-way nature of consumption. Posting a regular blog allows me to contribute back to the online discussions even if no-one reads my posts, at least I am doing what is within my power and influence to put something back in. At least I am putting myself out there.
Blogging allows me to offload thoughts and ideas onto the screen. The human mind has a limited capacity for thinking, ideas, etc. and therefore the act of putting some ideas into a blog releases some capacity which can then be deployed on other things. It’s a little bit of a mindfulness exercise. Now I am no neuro-scientist so I can’t prove the above to be true but it feels right and some of my reading over the years has suggested the limited capacity of the mind to be true.
I will however be honest and although the majority of the reason for blogging is for me personally I still do occasionally check the statistics to see if people have been reading my posts. I still get a little bit excited by the occasional reader comment which shows me that my musings are at least of interest to at least one person. Or by the retweet or like on twitter relating to a post I have written. I admit this is a little shallow however I am a human after all. If it wasn’t about others reading then this blog would be document which only I could read. I hope as a public sharing it is more useful.
So its now been four years that I have had this site running. Here’s to the year ahead, and getting to five!
Image “Fourth Four Indicates Happy Birthday And 4” by Stuart Miles from http://www.FreeDigitalPhotos.Net