My Learning

Yesterday marked 3 years of being a blogger. What a wonderful journey it has been!

I may be over exaggerating when saying my blog is my Phd, after all people like Stephen Downes have done this much work and still don’t have one. Furthermore, the focus and intent of my writing has been far from such a standard, and sure to be rejected as a dissertation… BUT…

I know a few people that have a PhD and they have all shared comments like, “I’m never going to school again!”, and “What a painful experience”, and “I’m sooo glad that’s over!”, and even “I’m Done with learning!”

Meanwhile, I’ve never been so excited about learning. and I’m far from done, I’m continuing my journey and 3 years of ‘work’, of reflective learning, has done nothing but broaden my horizons and make me excited about what’s to come.

Personalized Recognition

So for the fun of it, I’ve personalized my journey with a PhB: A Blogtorate of Philosophy.

So what’s this worth? Personally it means the world to me, I wouldn’t trade my blogging/learning experience for any other, but what would this document get me in the ‘real’ world? We are now throwing (very deserving) accolades to DIY / EdupunkLeaders… yet we don’t really ‘credit’ them in a quantifiable way.


So how do we credit all this very real, very meaningful learning? How do we credential-ize the learning that people are sharing online… Things happening outside of classrooms and credits and courses? Who does the next big company want to hire, the Harvard Graduate or one of these ‘candidates’?

What is my blog worth in the world of academia?

Does it really matter that what I’ve done hasn’t been for marks? What’s the big deal if this ‘work’ isn’t counted toward some (archaic) institution?

After all, it has been shared with colleagues around the world;

The last year, since moving to

It has been peer reviewed, and quoted, commented on, and even presented… furthermore, it has an extensive bibliography.

Does this count for anything? Should it?

The real value…

This blog has provided me with an opportunity to share my learning, and more than anything else it has challenged me to be accountable in a way that no other professional development ever has. It has reminded me that I love to learn and it is part of a learning process that I truly love. My blog may not get me any more letters after my name but more than anything else, it has set me on a journey I’m going to continue, not for some external reward, but rather for the intrinsic value and for the love of learning.


And now having said all this, I’d like to thank you!

Thanks for being a part of my Personal Learning Network; Thanks for joining me on this journey; And/or thank you for contributing to my learning!

20 comments on “My blog is my PhD

  1. David,

    Well said all around. I wonder about this sometimes, this blogging thing, as a means of accredited professional development. Or would that ruin it and make it much like all of those other areas that don’t measure up to its effectiveness. Like graduate school.

    Like all else, the experience of keeping a a web presence through my blog have taught me one very important thing: you get out of it what you put into it. I didn’t find that the same to be true when I was finishing my MA, and I hope I don’t find it the same when I begin the next one.

  2. Patrick,
    It is very true that ‘you get out of it what you put into it!’
    Your comment brings an interesting question to mind, which is: Why ‘Schooliness‘ lowers our input? What is it about school work that makes it hard work? Why can’t the institutional learning I do be more like this blog is for me? I think control is one significant aspect.

    I understand your point and probably should have mentioned eportfolios in my post, but to me my blog is not my eportfolio. I have many resources that I might or might not link to on my blog, and I don’t try to use it to represent the many aspects of my learning. For instance, I have another blog that I seldom link to from here, because it doesn’t necessarily fit into the focus of this blog, (it’s more Practic-All and less philosophical).
    I guess to others, blogs like this could be considered an eportfolio, the question of some sort of formal recognition for the work countless educators are putting into blogs, wikis and Ning networks, etc. is still a question that I wonder about?

  3. Yes your work has been shared with colleagues around the world and this is important, but you neglect to mention that you have launched the blog careers of many other bloggers. Your model of thought provoking writing has been the inspiration to many others. Thank you for opening the door to a powerful PLN.

  4. Kia ora David!

    Well done! You should have entitled this post “In Part Fulfilment”.

    I can assure you that my blog means as much to me as my PhD, if that’s anything to go by. But then, my blog’s not even a year old.

    Do keep writing. They say longevity is one of the pre-requisites for a Nobel Prize. After all, writing blog posts qualifies as contributions to literature. Who knows? You might be in the running one day.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  5. Dave,

    First off : Congrats! You do a great job and I always enjoy reading your posts!

    Secondly I need to weigh in on the ‘academic’ merits of a (your) blog. I believe that the main point of an advanced degree is to develop the way you think and to provide a contribution to the knowledge base of a certain topic/area of study.

    I believe that you do both with your blog, and thus are a deserved recipient of the PhB – even if it is self conferred!

  6. Dave, I agree with everyone’s sentiment. I’ve been reading your blog for about 8 months and have enjoyed your writing and ideas very much. Don’t stop!
    As an aside, I’m finishing my course work, starting my dissertation and will be glad when this is over so I can concentrate more on my blog.

    thanks for sharing and I’ll keep looking for your insightful posts.

  7. Congratulations mucker!
    I agree with all the above comments, your blogs are very thought provoking..
    …sometimes I agree, sometimes I differ but you always evoke a response from me.However , the thing which impresses me the most is the way you challenge my thinking, particularly on issues where for the sake of any discomfort, I have sat on the fence ( I know hard to believe that this very opinionated woman ever sits on any fence!)
    I love the certificate, it reminds me of freetime in ICT when I allow my kids to develop any project they want…..invariably all the little darlings who hate writing award themselves a writing certificate (cough cough) Just kiddin’
    I think your bloging deserves one.

  8. Congratulations!
    Blogging really is becoming the next “thing”. As a fairly new blogger myself, I think it’s just another space to express what you have to say on practically anything. It’s just like talking to your friends and family, but once you click the ‘publish’ button, the whole world can share your thoughts and ideas and comment on them.
    Your recognition and work prove that blogging isn’t just an accumulation of pieces of writing. It’s more like a public diary with frequent readers. Still seem pretty surreal to me!!
    I shall keep posting posting and posting 🙂

  9. Believe it or not this is my first response to a blog. I am working on a Phd thorugh Capela University out of Minnisota,and I thought I used technology a great deal, don’t we all have lots to learn. I enjoyed the reading and for me the biggest benefit is the impetus for reflection. Thanks for sharing

  10. Nice. You know, all it should take is, copy paste into chapters, finish off a bit more here and there, upload to order a printed book, and there, a dissertation ready for your local library.

  11. Leigh,

    I read your comment and thoughts of the Staples ‘Easy button’ commercials came to mind. 🙂

    I think I’d have to do a lot more than ‘a bit more here and there’ in order to remotely demonstrate the rigor of a dissertation.

    That said, I had many discussions on Twitter about making the ideas in my blog into a book after discussing in my ‘Who Owns the Learning?’ post.
    It may just happen one day, but I think I’d be far more likely to have a University offer me an honourary and fictitious PhB (Blogtorate) than an actual PhD for my efforts. 😉

  12. […] A less-than-positive example of this groupthink phenomenon can be found in the comments of this post. Sadly, many members of our community have no idea what it really takes to write a dissertation or to complete a Ph.D. The pedagogical problem, nevertheless, arises when knowledgeable members of the community, for whatever reason, fail to steer the community in the right direction. As a result of this in-community learning, pockets of the community persevere in ignorance, while a hierarchy of true authority eludes existence. Just as the idea of social media mobs can be leveraged for arguably positive social benefits, such mobs can also irrationally spin out of control. Therefore, more than mere community is needed for an effective schooling system. […]

  13. Good stuff!
    I totally agree with your thoughts and I am doing the same myself. I have always hated school and for the longest time, I did not know why. Now, as I am pushing to reinvent the classroom, the more research I do and the more I push for changes, the more excited I become.
    As a solopreneur, constantly trying to get gigs, I can say that my university learning has had little value to me. Hustling to get gigs has been a far greater education. And now I can display and prove my learning to the world through my blog. If an old school organization does not want to recognize that learning, well, they are probably someone I do not wish to do business with.

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