Thursday, August 21, 2008

First Post!!

Well here we are - my first "real" blog post! Real in that this is the first post I have initiated, as distinct from the odd reply I have made to postings on other blog's that I monitor.
I have had good intent to set up my own blog for quite some time. In fact, I did make a start 20 months ago one night in Stockholm when I had nothing to do. Alas, that blog lies somewhere in the ether bereft of postings as I procrastinated month after month in actually writing something. But therein lies a lesson. I have long held the view that blogging is a potentially good thing, but it does require quite a commitment of time, especially for a 10/15 words a minute hunt and peck man like myself. Why was I not forced to learn to touch type at school - in the same way as rote learning of the times tables still leaves me today largely liberated from the need to carry a calculator!!!
So why start now? Well, why not? Actually, the simple reason is the dogged prompting by Sarah Stewart and her very helpful advice. Even then, I missed my self imposed deadline by over a week, but now that I am started I hope to build some momentum and to maintain a regular presence.
But why have I set up this blog? Well, as I have said at the start of the blog I am keen to get some dialogue going about aspects of teaching and learning and in particular what we are doing and trying to achieve at Otago Polytechnic. I hope, too, that this blog will be another form of accountability for the decisions I make and the directions in which I encourage the Polytechnic to go - either personally or as a member of our leadership team.
Also, I see enormous educational potential through blogging, informed by the efforts being made by several Otago Polytechnic staff. What better way to develop an understanding of that potential than to engage with the process yourself. I also see the potential of blogging to enhance management and leadership, which is one of my real passions, standing alongside my passion for education. I do intend to muse somewhat about management and leadership in future postings.
OK, that is it for now - having explained why I am here and what I hope to achieve. "See" you soon.


Jeanette Corson said...

This looks great Phil.

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Phil, congratulations on getting up and running. The blog looks much better than the last one already. I was going to give you another week and then hound you again, but you beat me to it!! :)

First tip: links

When you talk about someone/something on your blog that can be found on the Internet, it is good practice to link to that thing or person. That allows your reader to go and see what you are talking about, in other words, it is like APA referencing style. Eg, in this post you mention me - so it will be good to 'link' to my blog so you need to go back and edit the post.

To edit: click on the little pencil icon at the bottom right hand corner of your post. Make your changes and then press publish again.

To link: highlight the text you want to link, in this case, my name. Click onto the link button which looks like the world with a metal link on it. A little box will appear - put the url of the page you want to link to in the box (, then press OK.

If you get stuck, have a look at the instructions in your blog 'help'.

Good luck.

Hillary Jenkins said...

Good work - would be good to have an image with each positing

Merrolee said...

Welcome to the 'real' blogging world Phil! And many of us have experienced the same process - starting one or two or even three, before settling into a blog that allows you to muse, not just by yourself, but to see what your musings spark off in others who may leave you comments, or link from their blog to yours!

Like you I muse at times on leadership - particularly how to facilitate change actions and thoughts of others. A true sign of a leader is to prompt and shape in the background... blogging makes your thinking much more overt - does that change what happens I'm wondering?

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Phil, have just had a message from someone who wanted to comment on your post (sorry, I've advertised you all over the Internet!! :) )and you've got things set up so people who do not have a blogger account cannot comment. How would you feel about 'allowing' anyone to comment? To do that, go to 'settings' , then 'comments' then allow anyone to comment.

The only downside to this is it allows people to post anonymously, which is fine - you can always delete any comments you do not want to stay on your blog.

lyn blair said...

I started blogging because it was part of a course I was doing at Otago Polytechnic. Time was an issue and remembering to keep up with it. After a year I do find it much easier. I do agree that using a blog for education purposes has great potential because a blog can have an enormous visual impact.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Canada... the lovely Sarah Stewart sent me over to say Hello.
Be fairly warned. You have a days head start on me, so I will be perpetually late to the post!
I am truely enjoying your staff and their on-line writings. I even participated in and Eluminate seminar the other night, next afternoon to those putting it on!
Anyway, was lovely.
Best wishes.

Sue Waters said...

Excellent work Phil and a really good post. This blog immediately provides us with a sense of who you are and your humour. I know one of the stresses of new bloggers is the worry about how often they need to blog. For the type of people that read our blogs one or two posts per week of information that interests them is usually enough to make them happy.

Can I also suggest that you get Sarah to set up Feedburner subscription and email on your blog - since you will probably have people in your organisation that will prefer to get your posts by email.

I've been thinking your typing issues since Sarah mentioned them last week. There are several applications that are really easy to use that allow you to write blog posts on mobile phones plus they are several that you can use to create audio posts using your mobile phone. So instead of typing you could mix it up by occasionally doing some audio quickly on your mobile. With a suitable mobile phone you could take a quick photo when you are out checking out exciting things happening at Otago Polytechnic then write some text to go with it and send it to your blog using the phone. (I have an iphone which makes this very easy).

Leigh Blackall said...

Here's what I think about it!

Lisa Barrett said...

Congrats on the new look. I was a commentator on Sarah's blog about your previous blogging. This is much improved.

derek said...

Cool Phil. Chatting with Merolee tonight and she flicked me this link.

You should not need to go to far out of your way to find things to post about. Just notice them, you don't need to dig them up or create them.

I'm visiting Otago Poly tomorrow with my boss and a friend. The Heywire meeting. Looking forward to it.

willie campbell said...

high praise from Leigh indeed Phil. most gold medal stuff really.I also am coming along in a lower than bronze, but consistent place- I wish to explore ways of learning- how you recognise them-what does it take for someone to believe they have valuable laerning. In other words, a social justice and equity perspectiove. Dopesn't mean I can't work in an institution, but I look forward to the conversation around these things. my bolg is Http://

Bronwyn hegarty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bronwyn hegarty said...

sorry last post missed the end of the link. Here goes again.

Phil this is a great post and really gives a sense of your human side. I am really looking forward to reading about your adventures as you stroll the campus, mobile phone on alert for picture opportunities. :)

At first, you may see the occasional shadow as people duck and dive behind the bushes - many of our staff are very coy about the dangers of being exposed on public sites - but with you setting an example like this, they will I am sure, eventually start leaping out at you, to capture material for their own blogs.

Now a serious question - how do you see professional blogs being incorporated into our organizational culture - as a means of communicating achievements and ideas to colleagues (e.g.
spotted-in.html)- is it a performance review issue?

Sarah Stewart said...

Interesting question, Bronwyn. I immediately thought of how we can make our professional blogs into ePortfolios. Is this something we, as an organisation, would be interested in? This would certainly save money if we did this instead of buying into a propitiatory platform. But we'd have to look at how we supported staff to get to that level.

Sarah Stewart said...

@Willie Campbell: you coming up on the inside really nicely now, Willie, more like a silver medal I think!

Sarah Stewart said...

In answer to a couple of your queries:

Changing date and time: Customise - settings - formatting and then set appropriate date/time.

To put a permanent link to your other blog or other sites you like:
customise - add a gadget - choose 'blog roll' or 'Link list'. Have a play with either of these gadgets - you can always delete them if you don't like them.

Sarah Stewart said...

Here's a few postsfrom Sue Waters about how to integrate RSS with Feedburner. There are also some good 'how to' videos on YouTube. I agree with Sue that you give people the opportunity to subscribe to your blog by email as well as RSS. Most people will know what email is, whereas some may struggle with RSS.

I can drop by next week for 5 minutes to show you how to set this up if you get stuck.

infomidwife said...

Congrats Phil, welcome to the land of blog, this is much improved and I look forward to reading the forthcoming blogs.

derek said...

Just to say Phil: I'm sitting in your board room at the WikiEducator OER gathering.

If you need a topic: tell us a little about where your revolutionary IP policy came from.

alexanderhayes said...

G'day Phil,

I wanted to let you know that you have one of the most progressive and valuable educators you could ever hope to want to have on your payroll.

Leigh Blackall.

Let him lead.....let him show you his global (empire) network.

real blogging world said...