This is part of the “What’s your story?” blog challenge being hosted by Vicky Loras. It took me a long time before I could think of ‘my story’, then I realized that one of the biggest changes in my life last year was tekhnologic. This is the story of how my blog began.
Last summer I went back to the UK on vacation. I really enjoyed those few weeks back in the UK. I was able to attend my sister’s wedding, it was the first time my better half had visited the UK and it was a chance for me to catch up with friends and family that I hadn’t seen for a long time.
I caught up with an old friend and spent a couple of days hanging out and chatting about life with him. We talked about all the usual things, including work.
We were both in positions where we wanted to acquire more hard skills. Hard skills are abilities or specific knowledge needed for a task and can be easily proven. Developing hard skills is one aspect of CPD.
He talked about the ways he wanted to retrain and the skills he wanted to develop and I talk about some of the ways I had being using Office software to teach. I hadn’t thought much about it but my friend saw value in it and suggested I start studying towards the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. Which is a certificate to prove that you are either a capable or advanced user of Office software. When it was time to leave, I left with a lot to think about.
By the time I returned home, I was determined to look into the MOS exam. I went on Amazon and I bought some books on Word, PowerPoint and Excel. I thought that even if I never took the exam, there would be no harm in having a few more books on my shelf.
I started with PowerPoint and Excel because I was using PowerPoint regularly and Excel was a mystery to me. I never read the books with great intensity. I only scanned through them from time to time, but I ended up learning a lot. I found ways that I could use this information in the classroom and I wanted to share them. I wanted a voice. I find that talking about what I am learning helps me to process the information faster and I retain it for longer. The only problem was I didn’t feel that there was really anyone I could talk to about it. It’s hardly the most exciting of topics.
It was around this time that I was read 30 reasons why your blog can make a difference by Sylvia Guinan, and it wasn’t long before I had signed up for a WordPress account, come up with a name and designed a logo. Tekhnologic had started.
I finally had an outlet, a voice.
I started to use what I know to create games and tools that could be used in the classroom. I wanted to include tip & tricks so people could use my material but also learn for themselves how it was done and how they could customize it.
I had been making material in PowerPoint for a few years, and before that I had been making material in Open Office Impress. So, I had a back-catalog of material and techniques that I could draw upon. I used one of these techniques when I first started tekhnologic. I used a particular animation so people could make their own quiz. It was surprisingly popular, which was a shock because it flew in the face of my expectations.
Writing this blog soon became more challenging than I had previously imagined. Sometimes I would find myself writing until the early hours of the morning, and sometimes I would feel a little disappointed that something I had invested time and energy wasn’t as successful as the previous post. There are the days where I put my energy into making graphics and videos for the site, and then there are the days when I have an idea or I discover something new and I am excited to write about it.
I know that my blog is still a small blog and I never really expected much. I expected so little that I underestimated the impact that writing a blog would have on me. I expected maybe a thousand views, not tens of thousands. I expect a handful of downloads, not thousands. I expected to share the things I learn, not for the blog to drive me to learn new things.
This blog may seem like a small thing to some people, but I see it as one of the big changes in my life in 2014. Now, looking back at Sylvia Guinan’s article, I see how accurate some of her observations were.
Thank you to everyone who regularly reads my blog, just stops by, or downloads and runs away. I am just happy that my selfish need for a voice has had a positive impact on me, and hopefully been helpful to others.
The biggest thanks goes to a friend though, who on one summer’s day gave me an idea.
Thanks for reading my story.