Post 600: Thoughts on Blogging, Education & Life
This is post 600 of the Dark Pines Photo Blog. Time has passed. What was “Will be” has turned into “Now“. What was “Now” has become “Then”. There has been some growth. There has definitely been loss. And it can be summed up in the word, Change.
In the time since my first post, What to do with all these photographs, May 8, 2010, the world, my personal circumstances, and this blog has changed. The biggest change for myself has been going from active teacher to retired teacher. Some might not realize how fundamental a shift to retirement can be, especially for a teacher.
The occupation of teaching does not stop when you leave the building. It does not stop when you finish the marking. It does not stop when all the marks and comments are done. It does not end when the lesson plans are finished. You see, the lesson plans are never finished.
It is a common observation of teachers, both active & retired, that you can not look at something, read, watch, listen to, or try it, without considering how it might be used in context of a lesson/assignment. How do you bring something fresh to the activity of learning ? After 30 plus years of thinking that way, it is difficult to turn it off.
For both myself and my wife, also a newly retired teacher, being a teacher means, communicating, sharing, and creating. You might see how that kind of thinking would lead to the blog-o-sphere and Social Media. The road here was, in my case, a bit longer than you might imagine.
My areas of teaching includes Specialist Certificates in English, Special Education, & Developental Reading-Literacy ( BTW being a Specialist in a subject area does not get you big bucks the way it does in medicine or business). Along the way, I picked up an assignment teaching Mass Media (Media Literacy). There is no specific certification for that, so I had to teach myself.
When I started the Mass Media grade 11classes, there were 3 levels, Academic, General, & Basic. Most students would take the course as one of their required English credits ( by time I retired, the Ontario government had turned the course into an Open Level and made it totally optional – with our school’s shrinking population, it resulted in it being cancelled, welcome to a teacher’s life). Initially, with the technology available at the time, pre-internet & no word processing computers, much time was spent with television & movies (video tape).
Eventually, Mass Media technology, by way of computers, changed the world and education. I was now on the road to digital production, graphics in advertising, and digital photography. To teach you have to walk the talk, art teachers can create art, construction teachers build/ make things, music teachers play musical instruments, English teachers compose poetry/prose. Mass Media teachers must produce Mass Media.
My first faltering steps into what was to be know as online education & Social media were educational web pages for my students. It eventually evolved into ART & MEDIA LITERACY, a site for students in my classes and Liz’s Art classes ( with lots of resources for others as well).
Eventually, I saw the potential for blogging as an educational tool, both for students & professionals. This resulted ina Media literacy blog, Dark Pines Media. The Dark Pines title originated with a creative writing web site that was originally set up to be shared with students, Dark Pines Fantasy .
It is quite remarkable the amount of street cred you gain with students when they find out you have web pages & blogs. Some of that Social Media veneer may be dissipating as Twitter and Facebook become so commonplace. Teachers are partaking of Social media, at least on a personal level and some schools & school boards have started web-pages that are interactive, instead of static virtual newsletters & brochures.
As I came to understand the codes & conventions of the blog, I wanted to explore the creative expression & community that it could unlock. This was both for personal need and as a means of how students could use it. This gave birth to the blog you are presently reading ( if you haven’t dozed off yet).
Over the last year I was acknowledged by my fellow bloggers with a number of awards. I will dispense with the personal bric-a-brac, there has been enough of that already, and now acknowledge and reciprocate.
Somekrytya nominated me for this award last year. I had mentioned loss at the being of this post. We seem to have lost Soma Mukherjee to our blogging community. Her blog is beautiful. Soma’s last post & commenting had occurred Nov. 30th. Hopefully, she isjust taking a needed rest and will return to our community soon.
The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they: Hope for Love; Hope for Freedom; Hope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and Happiness; Hope for Compassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness
“People do not have to give up or compromise their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs to qualify for the Hope Unites Globally HUG Award©. They qualify for the HUG Award© when, without bias or prejudice, they use their resources and gifts to make the world a better place for everyone.”
For more information on this award, please visit:
5. Life Just Is
John (The Daily Graff ) presented me with the KREATIV BLOGGER AWARD
Here is my list:
I was nominated for Blog of the Year 2012 by Sandy.
At this point I will thank Soma, Sandy, and John for their support and recognition of my effeorts. NanaDoll presented me with 3 awards in one post ! I will need another post just to complete my list of nominations.
Drum roll please ………… my nominations for Blog of the Year 2012 are:
2. Lemony Shots
Final observations: The blogging community is warm & welcoming. It can display the best of the global community that is evolving out of Social Media. For those starting out, many of my early posts never received likes or comments. Visits, but no interaction. It took awhile for that to change. Visiting & interacting with others helped create lines of communication that were sustained.
For those with older eyes, I have been composing my written pieces on Open-Office using a larger text & different fonts. When I copy the text into Word Press it seems to make things easier on the eyes. Let me know if you have noticed a difference. – Many of the images can be seen in larger formats when clicked. –