So this week’s waffle is a bit different. It is going to focus more on the twaddle part of the blog’s tagline rather than the teaching or tech – although I’m sure those two words will be mentioned somewhere. This week, I thought I would let you know why I write my waffles and why I continue to produce Wilson Waffling Live. Although this is not something specific about teaching, think of it as a relaxing chat over a coffee and a rich tea biscuit.
Why not eats some while I waffle on?
(Original Image from pixabay.com)
At this point I should probably make a confession…One of the reasons for this ‘different’ type of waffle is because yesterday, when I usually collect the information and inspiration I need to write the weekly waffle, I spent most of the day setting up and ‘playing’ with my new computer. This is a long awaited purchase to try and improve the quality of my broadcasting, so although this waffle might not be up to my normal standards, Wilson Waffling Live might be of much better quality!
The points below are in no particularly order, they are just as they come to me.
Enjoyment – I grew up without Youtube or blogs or anything that resembled mobile technology. It is only when I look back and think about things that I realise that a few years ago I could not actually sit in a coffee shop (don’t wanted to do product placement today) and actually type into a web-based platform. Free wi-fi was not available and I could only write my ideas down and then ‘type them up’ at home while being connected to the dail-up internet provider of Compuserve or AOL. As blogs and Youtube became more accessible, I saw what other people were producing content in both written blogs and video channels and immediately wanted to join them in the blogging sphere. Although I made several attempts (including making a video blog each day for 60+ days) I never managed to create anything which was successful or which I thought reflected me. I wanted to blog and make Youtube videos but I had no focus or expertise. As I started working in higher education, I realised that many teachers and tutors had started their own blogs and websites and it was with a new found direction that I embarked on Wilson Waffling. Some people might consider what I actually do here as work but I do not consider it as work, more of a hobby which I really enjoy. I enjoy writing and broadcasting live and I like investigating the technology associated with blogging and broadcasting and developing my technical expertise in both areas. I think if I didn’t actually enjoy the whole process Wilson Waffling wouldn’t be around.
“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
Make a difference – Although I work in higher education I do not consider myself an intelligent, super knowledgeable academic. After failing my A-levels (well four ‘D’s) I suddenly realised that my hopes of becoming anything which needed high grades was fading fast and that, if I didn’t do something, I probably wouldn’t achieve much in life. That is when I remembered Edison’s definition of genius – “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” In order to make a difference with my life I would need to work hard and so my 99% perspiration began. I am not the sort of academic who is going to be remembered for ground breaking research or for that great inspirational speech on TED or as a keynote for a national or international conference. Wilson Waffling was never meant to be an academic blog which references articles and research. It is a place where the audience is anyone who wants to listen/read what I waffle about whether that be teaching, tech or just (like this waffle) general twaddle. When I am writing my waffles or broadcasting live I am hoping that there might be one thing, however small, that someone, somewhere reads or listens to which makes a difference in their thoughts, work or just life in general. I know that they will probably never look back to that point and remember it, but knowing that I have might have made a difference with my waffling definitely makes the website, for me, worthwhile.
Encourage learning -To me, sharing and collaboration are two important aspects of learning. I am always keen to talk to experts in the area of blogging and broadcasting to discuss how they achieve their aims and how these ultimately impact on the people who interact and engage with their blogs/vblogs. I guess some people might think I am a bit strange when they receive a random email from me saying that I really like what they are doing and can I come and have a chat with them. I must admit, I get a range of responses from standard rejection emails to ‘that’s great let’s meet’ emails. I am currently attempting to start my PhD and my focus will definitely be based on how technology can be used to effectively encourage and motivate independent learning. Even after writing that sentence I have suddenly remembered that some people have told me to be rather ‘secretive’ about my ideas but I just can’t help sharing. I want to share my thoughts, my ideas, my resources,lessons and experiences. I also want to interact and discuss and encourage others to do so. One thing I mention at the start of my first lesson with a group is that I can ‘talk for England’ and that they need to remind me when the end of the lesson is approaching otherwise I might just waffle on for the rest of the day – sharing everything I know and have learnt while teaching. Hopefully, as Wilson Waffling develops it will become a platform which encourages learning and discussion or, perhaps my dream, to become a place where virtual discussion takes place – like a virtual learning community.
So that’s it – three reasons why I write Wilson Waffling. My coffee is nearly at the dregs so hopefully this has given you something to read/listen to while you enjoyed yours. Have a great day and I’ll catch you all later.