How is a post inspired? Where do the seeds of thought that blossom into these very words come from?

The seeds

• I have a student in my class that is currently on a very unhealthy diet. I know that I cannot convince her to get off of it without replacing it in some way. I hunt down my copy of Anthony Robbin’s ‘Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement‘ because I remember that it has a very well executed, healthy eating strategy. I find the book and it has a few paper bookmarks in it from a couple decades ago. From the page with the first bookmark:

… you will enrich your world and enrich your work if you bring to it the same curiosity and vitality you bring to your play.

• I read Claudia Ceraso’s insightful post, Blogging So Far , (I like her blogger’s view of Google). I realize that like Claudia, I too have had my blog for 1 year. I follow the links and come across a few “5 reasons I blog” posts… not my kind of post to write, but interesting to read. [From Claudia’s post]

A blog is a learning engine
A node in your PLE (personal learning environment ). A virtual zone of proximal development . Learning happens when you connect to other people (other, meaning diverse , not just a group of different people). Reading alone with my books is half way to learning. I need to ask. If the author cannot be consulted anymore, I’d much rather find what their readers are writing in blogs. Always connecting, constructing, learning.

• I re-read Christopher D. Sessums’ How Do Educators Learn Successful Practices Using Social Media/Social Software? and I comment: [Exerpt from the comment]

In my attempt to (im)migrate into a web2.0 user/participant it has been the informal learning that has been most beneficial/rewarding. For example, your post: Competing Paradigms and Educational Reform struck a chord with me almost a year ago, and prompted me to quote you on my fledgeling blog. It was one of a number of influences that has made me questions my practice and the practice of schools.

I am now trying to bring Science Alive for my students in a way I never dreamed I could before… But this did not come from any formal community. It came from a loosely bound community of learners, unequally nurturing and feeding off of each other. It came from a digital web-path of hyperlinks which has helped construct meaning and relationships not easily discovered in a linear learning environment.

I think it is the informal learning experiences: the resourceful, interest-driven meandering between, among and within more formal communities/conferences/platforms and collaboration opportunities that has been most meaningful to me.

In essence I have become an empowered learner!

… This comment isn’t just another seed, it is the roots. It is what this post is about. It is why I blog.

The gardening

I start to make the connections between these seedling ideas.

• ‘Vitality‘. My blog is not work, it is play. Play from which I have the benefit of enhancing what I do in my classroom, in my daily job… which in turn provides even more vitality.

• ‘Always connecting, constructing, learning‘. I haven’t been able to finish my book for our book club because I read for 5 minutes and my eyes/my brain are craving a hyperlink… the lateral shifts in thinking that help me synthesize and add meaning to what I read. I want to interact with my reading, have it engage me. (See the ‘Read a reading’ section of Claudia’s post.)

• ‘An empowered learner‘. I choose. I link. I follow links. I follow my own agenda. I change my agenda because something interests me now. I change my mind. ‘I’ control my learning… and I have never in my life enjoyed learning as much as I have since I started truly ‘blogging’ a few months ago.

The bloom

So how is a post inspired? I find seeds of inspiration, let them germinate in my mind, and a new post has blossomed.

“Because we all need to take a stand…”

Today is Stop Cyberbullying Day – Friday March 30th, 2007

Here is a great site.

Originally posted: March 30th, 2007

Reflection upon re-reading and re-posting:

This kind of learning is so rich, and it is so diametrically opposed to traditional school learning.

Hyperlinks bring learning alive for me… they give me choice. How do we give students choice about their learning in school? How do we empower them as learners?

– – –

Comments from my original post:

  1. I’ve also just found a great post on Anne Davis site, – with a list of questions for novice bloggers to ask experienced bloggers.

    Emma Duke-WilliamsEmma Duke-Williams on Friday, 30 March 2007, 17:38 CEST 

  2. DavidArrived here to your post through the blog reactions widget. From now on, I will call it seed tracker.

    I confess I had many doubts before publishing my ‘Blogging so Far’ post. It was a kind of stream of consciousness that made me wonder how much sense would readers make of it. I was talking to myself.

    Later the same day I found this

    And I simply had to leave a comment.

    This empowered learning as you say can point to so many directions, I think it is good to post about it and let others get into conversations with our thoughts.

    Happy bloganniversary!

    default user iconClaudia Ceraso on Saturday, 31 March 2007, 02:02 CEST 

  3. Emma,  Thank you for the link, I really do appreciate it!  🙂LaughingClaudia,
    How serendipitous… When I first read your post, (one of my ‘seeds’), I followed some links within your links and came across Christine Hunewell’s a blogger as writer. When composing my post, I spent about half an hour looking for it, it really was another seed to my post!
    … and here we are full circle with you, once again, providing me the link- thankfully the path is more direct this time.

    With respect to your ‘stream of consciousness’ writing… I believe that state is an ideal writing state, and that some of my best writing has come when I have written to/for myself.

    Thank you for your comment, and your wonderfully inspiring post!

    David TrussDavid Truss on Saturday, 31 March 2007, 04:36 CEST