Yesterday at the eTech Ohio Conference, I listened to Will Richardson for his first three sessions (excellent by the way). I was privileged to learn from the following presentations on his weblogged wiki: “Weblogs in Schools”, “A Web of Connections…Why the Read Write Web Changes Everything”, and “Podcast, Vodcast, Screencast Nation.” Listening to his presentations allowed me to gain a great deal of information about blogging, wikis, pedagogy, and motivation. Then the major snow storm forced me to drive home during day two of the conference. I blog to learn from others who have the information and are willing to allow me to learn from them.
During one of his presentations he mentioned what motivates students during the process of blogging and my mind started to spin trying to answer that question for my students At the end of the presentation, the lightbulb literally went on and I figured it all out. It was the ClustrMap. The simple little map on the page makes some of my students even check my school website on the weekend. If I can get the students to understand the link between content and the ClustrMap, I will make a difference. I blog because I want students to be motivated by what I show them and vice versa.
My school website has a ClustrMap located on the bottom right of the screen. My students are constantly checking to see anyone new has come to my website and from where. Many times, they will even go on Google Earth or Flash Earth to check out the area around that little red dot. I see in their faces and hear in their voices how much it really means to them that they are part of the reason that people visit my school website. Some of them simply want to be noticed by a teacher, like myself; however, they could actually be recognized globally using that simple map. If you have a blog, you must put a ClustrMap on for your own motivation. I blog because I want to recognized globally and therefore feed that to my students.
The great part about this whole process is that I talked to Will after his first presentation and mentioned to him what my own personal answer was to student motivation through blogging. Then, he uses exactly what I said to later answer a question posed from the audience. THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT WITH BLOGGING…that something YOU say can conveyed to anyone around the world. Besides feeling great about having Will quote me, I really felt that my thoughts were collected about student motivation and my own personal ideas of blogging. I blog because I want to learn and want others to learn from my learning.