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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My One Hundredth Blog Entry!

A little over two years ago, I started a journey into the unknown at Shelby County Public Schools.  I left teaching in a high school classroom in order to pursue a passion of mine -- educational technology -- and for a leadership opportunity to positively affect a large number of students and teachers on a scale I couldn't imagine previously, in a position that was brand new to the district.  Not counting some false starts before, it was also the first time I seriously attempted to professionally blog.  In my first entry for Edtech Elixirs (dated August 1, 2014), I wrote that I was "committed to making meaningful and ongoing posts, but most importantly, making my blog a useful resource for others."

Others will have to judge if my posts are useful or meaningful.   However, as I write this entry -- the one hundredth post since I started Edtech Elixirs -- I can at least affirm that the posts have been "ongoing" in ways that I couldn't imagine in 2014.  My output has slowed down this school year, but my overall average is nearly a blog entry a week.  And I was worried I would run out of things to share and say!

Let's stop this entry cold so I can recognize and thank you, the readers.  Numbers aren't everything, but they certainly point out that many of you stop by my various social media sites.  Back in June of 2015, I wrote an entry summarizing the reach of Edtech Elixirs to that point.  At that time, I had cleared 10,000 total views when the blog was not quite a year old, much to my astonishment.  As of this writing, I am a few clicks shy of clearing 37,000.   In the same blog entry, I discussed my social media stats, and again, it's hard to believe what a difference nearly 16 months makes.  I'll just point out two examples.  I had nearly 800 Followers on Twitter and over 3,300 tweets in June 2015.  I now have 1,466 Followers and 5,119 tweets.  On my Watsonedtech YouTube channel in June 2015, I had just over 6,000 views, the highest number going to Adjusting your Lenovo Yoga Microphone (1709) and How to Use Plickers (Part One) (2364).  Sixteen months later, the channel has 55,489 total views with 18,238 views on the "Adjusting..." video and 22,292 views for "Plickers."

But back to the blog.  Here are my top 10 most popular entries of all time (ranked by number of individual direct views as of today).

  1. Lenovo Yoga: Fixing your Audio for HDMI Connection (2/5/15, with 5257 views).  Back in June 2015, this was only the third most popular entry with 417 views.  Now it is by far the most clicked.  Apparently, between this and my entry on adjusting the microphone, many people are Googling for help on their Lenovo Yoga.
  2. The Power of Positive Social Media #StartsWithUs (10/16/14, with 1040 views).  Started with a hashtag and clothespins in a St. Louis school, I shared this powerful story of how social media can be utilized to make a positive difference.  One of my favorite entries.
  3. Rose/Bud/Thorn and Design Thinking (4/29/15, with 976 views).  A great reflective strategy for students that I found and shared, along with a short overview of what Design Thinking is.
  4. Why Chromebooks? (8/22/15, with 685 views).  Probably popular if found when people Google "Why Should I Buy a Chromebook?"  I lay out some reasons why a Chromebook is a solid device, and how it fits with our district's philosophy and overall academic plan.
  5. How I Spent My Summer Vacation 2015 (8/7/15 with 683 views).  Only a few clicks shy of fourth place,  I am perplexed how this made the top 5, much less the top 20 or 50.  Perhaps because I talked about EdcampKY, Mooresville (NC) and our own district personalized PD in one entry?  Maybe it's a Google-able mother lode.
  6. Flubaroo, Doctopus and Goobric (5/27/15 with 566 views).   Three highly useful Google tools you can creatively integrate into student assessment and learning.
  7. Game-Based Learning and Classcraft (1/12/15 with 534 views).  A primer on game-based learning and gamification in the classroom, an overview of Classcraft, and an interview with Collins High School teacher Tim Oltman.  A bit overstuffed, but like #5, its popularity may come from showing up in different types of Google searches.
  8. PBL and Eusessments (7/1/15 with 467 views).  Is "assessment" a bad word? How does PBL work, and can lead to "good products" that truly demonstrate student understanding?
  9. Makerspaces (12/1/15 with 419 views).  Besides an explanation of what a makerspace is, it contains a link to a Google Doc occasionally updated by myself and our district librarians; it is full of various makerspace resources.  In addition, the entry has an interview with Heidi Nelt, who recently was named the 2016 KASL School Librarian of the Year!
  10. Garlic Necklace, Not a Silver Bullet (5/14/15 with 381 views).   There is no such thing as one device that fits all needs...and that's a good thing.  I discuss a possible alternative way of thinking about and integrating technology in a classroom, school or district.
I want to again thank Shelby County for giving me this opportunity to help teachers and students, and for every reader that has ever clicked on one of my blog entries, tweets or videos!