logo - runeman.org


to you, from me.

Chide me if you will.

All photos in this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license, unless specifically stated otherwise. If something written seems worth your time and effort, use it under the same license.

This is an archived blog. Those interested in my current blogging, feel free to visit
Runemanations where new posts will go.

Thu, 18 Sep 2014

Publish. You Won't Perish

Though I am retired, I have always felt that writing/publishing was one of the things most educators should do. If you teach, you are already in the habit of passing along information to the students in your classes. Why not take the next step and write down some of your professional thoughts?

Writing worksheets to pass out often seems to be the top end of "publishing" for too many educators. Certainly, few teachers are writing all the students' day-to-day materials. Most student reading comes from a textbook. Where I've worked, having an official textbook for every student was high on the list of expectations of teachers, administrators and parents. I'm not sure that the kids were so excited.

An effective teacher doesn't stop with the pages of a textbook, though. He or she works to make the approved curriculum the best fit with each class of kids. If teachers were to write their curriculum adjustments, that writing would accumulate into a sort of textbook or student guide by the end of the school year. It might not be "polished" and probably no traditional publisher would want to grab it up.

But that is where a website comes in. Websites are an important publishing medium these days. Paper pages bound together aren't required. The site might be student-facing, with materials intended to help support each child's learning of the class materials. Some pages/posts could be intended for the parents. Some might even be intended for other professional educators. Whatever the mix of intended audience, and whatever the mix of polished quality, if even one page or post helps a learner, the publishing has been a success. Remember that mantra, "all learning is individual". Most educators have been urged to provide individualized instruction. Well, here's the chance and the method.

How does that apply here?

There are several website statistics reported to me. The reports start with 2010. Some kind of reset happened. The site has been live for longer than that, since 2001, I think. There has been a steady increase of requests for files each year. That's a measure of the site's traffic. The site isn't wildly popular, but 2013 had almost 600,000 file requests. Somebody is visiting. I hope they (you) are enjoying what you see.

This blog apparently accounts for a big chunk of the requests, cumulatively checked by somebody 60,005 times since 2010. The report doesn't dial down to say what posts are most popular. Maybe people are "tuning in" to see what's new, but maybe one or two posts have been linked from outside. Either way, thanks to those who are reading any of my ramblings.

The blog is part of a mostly handmade website. I taught myself HTML coding and have added a variety of stuff along the way. I'm a big fan of Inkscape, for example. A lot of my graphics are made with Inkscape.

But there isn't a need for you to take the same path. There are several ways to create a website which looks cooler even than this one [grin] and has tremendous content. Getting a blog set up with Wordpress.com is one terrific method. There are other blogging options, but Wordpress is Free Software (sometimes called "open source") meaning that it serves the public good better than some other blogging options might. Sites like openclipart.org provide graphics to enrich your posts. Those graphics are generously donated to the public domain, meaning they are totally free to use as you need them.

Please remember to respect copyright requirements. Not all graphics are suitable to include in your site. Look for public domain material or images whose creators have released them with a liberal Creative Commons sharing license.

If you are an educator or even if you are not, come on, join in. Let your communication skills have another outlet. Polish them up through regular practice. Your work will certainly improve as you do more of it. Don't wait. Get started. Stop reading this. Start writing!

posted at: 15:55 | path: | permanent link to this entry