Monday, 26 November 2012

The Last Post? - Blog 6

Our journey with blogging has come to an end; or has it? For this final required post for EDER 679.05, I am contemplating whether or not I will continue blogging in the future. I have definitely learned the value of blogging and the collaborative power of being part of the collective community by following blogs. I must admit, I have kind of enjoyed sharing my musings on technology and society and I have been impressed with the impact created by linking my ideas to other blogs and exploring the connections in other people’s posts.
It is interesting to note, as I have surfed around snooping at blogs, that not many blog writers are prolific. It is apparent that no one from last spring’s class of EDER 679 has continued blogging. Many of my favourite bloggers have big gaps in their posts. Once I find a voice that interests me, I am a bit deflated to see that they have not been updating.
Part of me wants to push it and see what I could create if I kept it up. Would I actually get a real following? Even after asking a few friends and family members to have a look and reply, I only have one reply outside this class. It looked kind of authentic but anyone who knows me will see that I coerced my husband. Should I invest the time for myself and see what happens? Maybe if I am not bounded by the guidelines of the class I will venture further and create something more personal or organic. (Even that sounds ridiculous!) I could remove the university heading and not link to my professional organization and include my true sense of humor to build a community, or I could stay on the professional track and focus on educational ideas to build a collective among teachers. A third option… let the dust settle and read a good novel. I might record all the URLs of our classmates and check in periodically. Time will tell how blogging has affected all of us.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Tipping Point - Blog 5

The connection between bullying and our social identity is on my mind. The prevalence and impact of bullying has been front and centre in the media lately and I have dealt with some bullying issues on the home front, as well. In Canada, this week marks National Bullying Awareness Week. Although anti-bullying programs and awareness have been part of our collective discussions in schools and communities for many years, recent events in British Columbia have pushed the topic to the surface. In their weekly newspaper column, Craig and Marc Kielburger have commented on the importance of training bystanders to be vocal against bullies and to befriend victims. We need to remember the importance of teaching empathy and adults need to model respectful behavior towards each other. As the Kielburger brothers point out, "Cyberbullying is more difficult because it happens in a private world closed to most adults,"(Calgary Herald, 11/12/12).
As a parent, I have recently been reminded of the importance of keeping the lines of communication open in order to encourage kids to seek help and to share what is going on in their digital world. Through conversation, concerns, and checking the texting conversations of my son, I realized I needed to take action and appeal to our community of parents. I was able to search the internet and contact a parent directly about concerns I had regarding the social identity of a child. By working together, we were able to deal with an emerging situation quickly. It is essential that we collaborate as parents and teachers to establish the kind of support that children need as they manoeuvre through the business of "hanging out, messing around, and geeking out," (Thomas & Brown, 2011) on the Internet.
After watching Stuart Brown discuss the importance of fostering play in all humans in order to enrich our lives, I wonder if increasing our opportunities to engage in joyous times would combat the occurence of bullying? Bullies are typically lonely, hurting, or lacking confidence. Surely, the opportunity to experience play would replace the need to be mean.
As we embrace the new culture of learning (Thomas & Brown, 2011) we are making progress in teaching digital citizenship skills. We need to keep working hard to teach kids to be open, kind, and supportive of one another in the relationships they are building on and off-line.


Brown, S (2008). Play is more than fun. Retrieved from:

Kielburger, C. & M (2012). Make a pledge to take a stand against bullying. Calgary Herald (11/12/12).

Thomas, D., & Brown, J.S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change, Seattle, WA: Create Space.