A year ago I restarted my blog as a way to find my voice again. Blogging really has helped me to develop as a practitioner. Not only does it allow me to reflect on my practice, but it also means I have to read A LOT! I’m not complaining, but boy have I read. Reading more has given me more knowledge about education related topics. More knowledge has allowed me to be more critical of these topics and this has supported me to improve as a ‘research informed practitioner’. Moreover, I’ve been able to support others with accessing the research by writing about it in layman’s terms.
Upon starting my blog again, my intention was to write a blog per week, but I fell short of my target with a mere 49 (including this one). I’ve had nearly 12,000 views (which is a drop in the ocean compared to some, but I’m happy with it for the first year). This coming year will see me exceed my goal, with a weekly post, in addition to a new feature (coming soon). Furthermore, I am branching out to other social media platforms to increase the views. This isn’t about numbers so much, but about creating more dialogue around my posts and supporting others to access crucial information about learning.
In celebration of the 1st year, I’ve chosen a selection of key posts that I feel have had the biggest impact on both myself and others. Some have been popular and well read, others not so, but all very valuable:
- My first blog post ‘Less haste, less speed‘ – this was the start of my new blog and developed upon a theme that I had written about in a previous blog. The post questions why we are always in a rush to teach learners information and for them to make quick progress with it. This set the scene for the blog and it has been viewed 234 times.
- A lot of effort went into ‘Schemes that make a difference‘ – in this post my aim was to support teachers with their planning by drawing upon a sound research base. I wrote this alongside a training session that I was planning. The post and the training session has been cited by many as being really useful to them. This post has been viewed 672 times.
- My most popular post ‘Formative assessment – is it a silver bullet‘ – I think I almost broke the internet in the first 4 hours of it being published, with over 400 views. It drew upon research to provide a critical analysis of Wiliam’s 5 key strategies to formative assessment. Whilst my views have changed slightly, the post is one of my favourites and an easy read for understanding how to do formative assessment well. It has been viewed 1023 times.
- My famous post ‘Observations – is the boot on the wrong foot‘ – This was published and within a couple of days, the TES FE editor contacted me to feature it in the paper for the following week. It is an alternative view of observation based upon my experiences with my daughter. Viewed 464 times.
- The most dialogue generated post ‘Action research: A recipe for disaster?‘ – This post generated a lot of discussion on Twitter and WordPress (well, for me anyway). I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say in it, but intended on it being thought-provoking and a little contentious in – which it was. It has 479 views.
- Most useful to trainee teachers post ‘Applied and simplified – Top 20 principles‘ – In my role as a teacher trainer in FE, I work with individuals that have fantastic subject knowledge, but lack pedagogical knowledge AND the time to separate the wheat from the chaff. Therefore, it is my job to support them in accessing key information, and what better than summarising a key piece of research from cognitive psychology. I have actually got my trainees doing a similar task (summarising key research) and feel that this is essential to their development. Viewed 174 times.
So stay tuned to my blog because it is only going to get better – here’s to another year!