Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Purpose & Audience

Teaching a class called "Creating on the Web" for students working on their Masters degrees this summer has prompted me to take a fresh look at this blog, my Twitter account, and re-think how I interact with the world. 

On one hand, I blog and tweet about what I have to offer the world of education. What am I learning, and what could others benefit from, about my life as a teacher?

On the other hand, I blog and tweet as a husband, as a father, and as someone who is trying to follow after Jesus Christ. Not that I'm doing a terrific job of any of these things...It's just that I am learning some things along the journey.

For the longest time, I was confused about my audience. Some may have read my posts and tweets looking for ideas for teaching, technology, and how to put the two together. Others may have read my posts and tweets for ideas unrelated to education. Of course, I'm one man. As a Christ-follower, I should always look for ways to put Christ first in everything I do. (Colossians 1:18) At the same time, I try to offer the church ideas that come from my expertise as an educator.

However, that doesn't mean that every reader wants to read about educational technology, faith, and fatherhood on the same page. 

Sadly, this kept me from blogging and tweeting for longer than I care to admit. I had very similar issues with my Twitter account. Educational technology or faith/family/etc.?

My solution

If I want to build a PLN (Personal/Professional Learning Network), the people that I would follow on Twitter and subscribe to their blogs, I do so for different reasons. We basically enter into different conversations together. We go to different "rooms", if you will for those conversations. I will leave it to my audience to decide whether they want to be in both rooms or not.

My predictions:
I will blog and tweet more if I'm not nervous that I'm not being "off topic" for anyone.
Then, more people will join in conversation with me, if the topic of the conversation is clear.
Therefore, I will get more from the people in both rooms.
  1. This blog, "Teach 'Em How To Fish", will be about educational technology:
  2. My current Twitter account, @senorw, will be educational, as well. 
  3. My other blog will be about everything else (faith, family, hobbies, humor, etc.) It is called "Stretching", and I have certainly been stretched in those areas in recent years.
  4. On Twitter, I will now tweet about these topics as @warkentin_ed
I will need to spend some time sorting cleaning out these 4 accounts, so that they represent what I've just described, but I'm hopeful about my blogging and tweeting future.

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