September 05, 2005

Sleepless in Leith

It's well after my normal bedtime but for the last two-and-a half hours I have been rolling about, mind far too alive and kicking to get any shuteye. In the back of my mind I am wondering how many of my US blogging compatriots will get a ping in Bloglines when I post this evening, bearing in mind that the only person on my Skype to be awake at this time is France Podcast's Julien, and even he now appears to have fallen asleep mid-podcast and gone off to bed.

Anyway, to get to a point, some point or other at least, I have been wondering recently how many people use RSS to get a ping on something like Bloglines when I update my blog. Very few people appear to subscribe on my blog compared to the number of page views I get.

Nick from work, always ready with a PDF to stimulate an edublogs post, came up with this one the other day: a report that reveals only 1 in 10 blog readers use RSS. Disappointing? Well, there's something else in that post that should wake educators up (or in the case of this one, keep him awake even longer beyond his bedtime)...

The top 50 blogging and blog-related sites have grown in a big way, accounting for 20% of internet usage. MSN Spaces has recorded a growth of 947%, which leads us nicely into my next point...

And in the classroom...
Teachers have always taken a certain smug pride thinking they know what makes their students tick. They might not say it out loud, but it's got the be there. Otherwise, would we all be quite proud of boring our pupils mindless? Surely then we must start to use blogs to support teaching if we are to come close to meeting learners' expectations. MSN Spaces is mostly used by teenagers, so that's almost certainly 947% more teenagers using blogs. Is it not about time teachers woke up to that and tried to appeal to one trend that is going to help their pupils?

The lack of research and good practice reports on the use of blogs in Scottish schools, but also further afield, means that there is little serious effort on the part of teacher education institutions to lead the way and show blogs and other social software as integral parts of the teaching landscape. Jordanhill are making a stab at it this year, thanks to a one-man effort from David. Is there any other way of showing blog power to the masses, other than going round bit-by-bit and showing kids and teachers in classrooms?

As the frustration in the Edtech Coast to Coast podcast showed this week, I don't think there is another way. Unless you know differently...

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Ewan, just to let you know that I subscribe to your RSS feed via bloglines. I am finding it very informative as a new 'blogger'.

Hi Ewan,
As usual a interesting post, which gave me lots of food for thoughts, I started a long reply, which got too long and veered a bit, ended up here

Thanks for this post. It made me think and distracted me from what I should have been doing for a good chunk of today. :-)

I've posted a response on my own blog.

Just for the record, I subscribe in Bloglines, but sometimes click on your link on my own blog too. I've got Sitemeter on my blog and it says where people came from when they arrived at my blog. It is strangely interesting. Can you do a similar thing with your blog?

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is a teacher, speaker and investor, regarded as one of Europe’s foremost experts in digital media for public services.

His company, NoTosh Limited, invests in tech startups and film on behalf of public and private investors, works with those companies to build their creative businesses, and takes the lessons learnt from the way these people work back into schools and universities across the world.

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Do you worry that your school or district could better harness its people, digital technology or physical space? Do you want some actionable inspiration, a mentor for a learning journey with your staff?

In a keynote or masterclass we can give them concrete ideas based on experience, enthusiasm fired by a vision of what can be, and backup before and after to make it happen for them.

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