You Say It’s Your Blog Birthday…

Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, NAH. It’s my blog birthday too, yah!

OK, the original lyrics are definitely better ;-)

birthday cake by photolate



birthday cake by photolate CC License



Clarify Me Turns One


Yup, it was a year ago in November that I took the plunge and dove into the blogosphere. The milestones weren’t as dramatic as those for a human in their first year of life, but significant none-the-less.

The Early Days


The first blog I started was on Blogger, and I didn’t really know what my focus was going to be. At the end of December I switched over to Edublogs. I regret not keeping the original Blogger blog as a time capsule–I transfered my posts over to Edublogger, but I didn’t keep the those very first tentative posts. I posted photos about the big November windstorm that hit my neighbourhood, and I pondered what I would write about at Claire’s World.

I was inspired to blog by my younger sister; she’d been blogging for about a year by then, and yes it was sibling rivalry ;-) What helped me find a direction for my blog was taking a KnowWeeks course called ‘Using Blogs in Education’. Cristina Costa and Ramona Dietrich were the facilitators and they did a wonderful job helping us (mostly) newbies find our way. It was there that North Van educator David Brear directed me to Sue Waters’ blog. Wow, did I feel like I hit pay dirt!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes


When I started this blog, my focus was on how to get my students blogging. As I blogged more and read more I began to realize that blogs and blogging weren’t necessarily the key; it was using technology, and web 2.0 in particular, to help students learn. Heck, before I started blogging I had no idea what web 2.0 even meant. My focus for blogging became not so much about finding out how to get students doing it and more about my own professional development. I was building my Personal Learning Network (only I didn’t know it at the time.) By the spring I volunteered to do a professional development session on blogging for teachers.

The aim of the session is to introduce participants to blogs and illustrate how blogging can enhance on-going teacher professional development by facilitating communication and collaboration with teachers from around the world.


Over the summer I prepared my session by posting all of the tasks and information on a blog I set up for PD activities.

Full Circle


So, earlier this week I noticed that KnowWeeks was offering ‘Using Blogs In Education’ again with Cristina and Ramona. I thought I’d sign up for old time’s sake ;-) The interesting thing is that I tweeted about it and as a result two of my BC Twitter friends signed up. My colleague at work too. Cool. This time around there are fewer newbies, and the focus is less on setting up a blog as it is about sharing resources.

spiral



Spiral Staircase by Martin Haesemeyer CC license



Thanks


The most amazing thing about this past year has been getting to meet so many wonderful, and inspiring educators. I won’t start listing them all; you can check out my blogroll to find most of them. There are some folks who I converse with on a regular basis, others who graciously respond to my comments or questions, and still others whom I admire from afar :-) You’ve all influenced me in countless ways. Thank you.

15 comments to You Say It’s Your Blog Birthday…

  • Sarah Stewart

    Its amazing who you meet and what you learn when you have a blog – and people say blogging is a waste of time.

    It's been great meeting you this year – thanks for all your help and support. cheers Sarah

  • Ken Allan

    Kia or Claire!

    Many happy returns of the day!

    My blog has yet to reach its 1st birthday and I thought I was doing great celebrating its 100th post! I must admit that the idea of a perennial celebration hadn't occurred to me with a blog :-)

    Catchya later

  • Louise Maine

    Happy Birthday! I don't think I have kept track of mine!

    Most people don't realize what they have to gain by blogging!

  • Claire Thompson

    Thanks for the happy returns!

    @Sarah–likewise; it's been great learning with you!

    @Ken–we must be doing things in reverse order; it will be awhile before I reach my 100th post! I've seen others celebrate their 1st blog birthday and it seemed like a good idea to reflect on one year of blogging.

    @Louise–yes, I can't believe how much I've benefited from this past year.

  • Jan Smith

    'Grats to you, Claire! Let's see…one year old…still in diapers, barely able to walk, short attention span, and most people don't understand a word you say–goodness, that sounds like me at 48!
    Your writing and thinking have enriched me–I am grateful to know you!

  • Claire Thompson

    @Jan–yup, those last two one year old descriptions seem to fit me! Thanks for your kind words. It has been wonderful getting to know you since we 'met' in the Comment Challenge. Perhaps a face-to-face meeting is in our future?!

  • David Truss

    Congratulations!

    It has been wonderful having you in my network and learning along with, as well as from, you.

    A 1 year anniversary and a 100th post are both worthy celebrations. I think I will give myself a degree after 4 years of blogging… after 4 years of thoughtful reflection and learning wouldn't you deserve a degree from the "Blogiversity of Clarify Me"? (Maybe even after 3 years when we blog through the summers.)
    My point: We need to celebrate the milestones to bring meaning to our efforts.

    Again, Congratulations!

  • Dean Shareski

    I find it interesting when people, get over the hump and discover what they want to blog about. Glad to see you've reached an important milestone.

  • Sue Waters

    Happy Birthday Claire. Wow a year! I can't believe it. Time flies so fast and you must be really proud of how far you have come.

    Interesting how you say "My focus for blogging became not so much about finding out how to get students doing it and more about my own professional development". I work hard encouraging people to first use it for their own personal learning before using it with students so they understand how to use it better with their students.

  • blogjunkie

    Congrats, Claire! It has been great "meeting" you at Knowschools and many thanks for the encouragement and comments on the forums and on my blog.

  • Claire Thompson

    @David, Dean, Sue and Cindy (blogjunkie)
    Thanks for your encouraging words!

    @David– it has been great to connect and learn from another BCer!

    @Dean–I've really appreciated your theme of "share everything". I've learned a lot from you.

    @Sue–yes, so many educators jump into blogging and want to get their students doing it right away. But it is so important to spend the time exploring it yourself first.

    @Cindy–I've really enjoyed meeting you this week. I look forward to hearing more from you via your blog!

  • bgilgoff

    So Happy Birthday. I'm new to your blog, thanks to the Knowschools course last week, and to be honest, from all you know, I'm truly surprised. I would have guessed that you had been blogging for a lot longer. You're clearly a very fast leaner. I look forward to reading more of your posts in your 2nd year.

  • Claire Thompson

    @Betty thanks! I look forward to learning from you in the year ahead too ;-)

  • Cristina Costa

    Dear Claire,
    Happy, happy birthday. May you celebrate many more – it will mean you will keep inspiring us through the voice your blog has helped you develop.

    great job! ;-)

    Cris

  • Claire Thompson

    Thanks Cristina! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment :-)