Happy anniversary to “nashworld.” This post is the 65th of the year, and it comes exactly one year after my first post on April 21st, 2008. Wow. Looking back at that post, it was quite clear I was full of questions for the coming year of study and reflection, but very shy of answers. In fact, this blog was initially titled “virtual southside” that first month. My first plan was for this space to be a group blog to facilitate PD for our brand-spanking-new tech cohort starting in June.
Forming a purpose
Then I found Ning. In one weekend, it was clear to me that this platform would be a far better, and more flexible, match for our school’s edtech PD mission. It also served to bring some comfort for our staff in the world of social media. Though we control membership to the site, it is certainly a more free-wheeling place than a simple group blog. It was the decentralized nature of a Ning network that I loved. I didn’t want to drive “virtual southside.” I didn’t want anyone to drive. I wanted to be merely another loud voice on a very enthusiastic and speedy bus.
So after a quick rename, nashworld became more of a personal place for reflection, sharing, and synthesis of thought. I do drive this bus. However, I had my first guest move up from the passenger section just this month. Though I certainly do have an amazing passenger list here, this is where the metaphor breaks down, for the readers of this blog certainly help steer my thoughts and words with their comments. To those of you who have put in your two cents here, I thank you greatly. You have helped to develop many of the thoughts and beliefs I currently own.
Year One Archive
A couple of months ago, when I started to really reflect on what blogging has meant to me over the past year, I decided to create a different type of archive for the blog. If you look up, you’ll notice that just to the right of the “About” page is a link to a new page entitled: “Year One Archive.” This page lists every post I have written over the course of the year by month- with somewhat of an abstract-like summary. I hope this provides yet another way to navigate the site. It certainly isn’t a quick and efficient way, but it does provide a bit of a different approach. The archive page also serves as an interesting chronological history of the past year.
In fact, after that first post in April… I didn’t write another that month. I didn’t even write one in May. During that month I was working hard on both Virtual Southside as well as my first shot at social media for an actual course I teach. June, my most prolific month, was the result of using the blog to fulfill the requirements of a really lame online grad course on “educational technology.” Truly the worst course I have ever experienced. You can easily tell this by the lame posts and lame books and movies and edtech articles from five and ten years ago. Jeeeez. I wish I hadn’t looked back over those just now.
Things got much better when school started and I began to feel a true mission for the blog. When November began, I followed along with Steve Dembo in his 30 Days to Being a Better Blogger adventure. That experienced helped tremendously. Also in November, I was actually even nominated for a 2008 Edublogs Award. You can imagine my surprise as such a green little blogger, but that was no doubt extrinsically empowering. I am certain to post several more reflective pieces on things I have experienced, learned and accomplished over the past year. Stay tuned for those. As soon as my grad program is completed in May… I have a lot of things to explore yet. Grad school, a new baby girl… it’s a wonder I could pull off any of this at all.
Most of all- thank you. Thanks for coming here. Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting. Thanks for joining in the discussion. Thank you for helping to steer my personal learning mission over the past year. I cannot thank each and every one of you enough. The thinking I do about the things you say… is worth a graduate course in something each time. In reflection over this past year, I can for certain that the biggest thing I have gained from blogging is people. I now have current and future collaborators on from all over the country. We have and will collaborate on projects that will no doubt extend not only my learning, but that of my friends and colleagues in Saint Joseph. I am humbled by the professionalism, creativity, and generosity of people in this newly-generated community. Thanks isn’t enough.
Artwork:*My 1st Flickr Anniversary by cuellar on Flickr. *Meer Reflections by Dave Whelan on Flickr. .