Archive for February, 2012

A Gentle Reminder: Ad-Free Blog

My blog occupies a funny middle ground on the Internet.  It’s not big enough to make me famous, infamous, or even Internet-famous, but it apparently garners enough traffic that I get emailed regularly asking if I would post an ad link to this company or allow a guest post from that company or wouldn’t I love to hear about an offer that my readers would just LOVE!!1!

The answer now, as it has been for 4.5 years, as it will be in the future, is no.

No, I do not want to put your ad in my sidebar.

No, I will not embed a link to your service in my post.

No, I will not post a pre-written article extolling your product and publish it under my name.

No, I do not want you to write a guest post for my blog.  If I want one, I’ll email you unsolicited, not the other way around.

The good people at adfreeblog (whose logo is the only one, beside Creative Commons’, you’ll find on this blog) sum up pretty well my feelings on why you won’t find Google Adsense or viral marketing here.  One of the major reasons I left Edublogs back in 2008 was because they started auto-inserting advertising links into the posts of their free blogs.

To their succinct list, I’ll add that I feel very protective of this digital space.  I’ve written many times about the sense of ownership I feel over this blog.  What I write here represents me – for better or worse – as a citizen, a dad, an educator, and a student, plus whatever other roles I take on.  If I write about a service or product I enjoy, as I do from time to time, I want whoever reads this to know that they can take what I say at face value.  If I am critical of something, know that that criticism comes from the heart and what I believe is in the best interest of children, and not from my target’s competitor.  Whatever I say here is, if nothing else, always genuine.

I would appeal to the organizations who write to me to stop, but somehow I doubt there are real people behind the emails.  I’m probably just on a list that gets cycled through every so often.  But as long as they keep sending me requests, I will keep marking them as spam and going on about my day.

Re-Statement of Purpose: Why I Blog

Today marks exactly 4 1/2 years since I wrote my first blog post here at Apace of Change.  In it, I laid out my initial intentions for this blog:

…I want to engage with other educators – not just teachers, but administrators, psychologists, LDTCs, and others in the education field – as to uses for much of the technology that is available to us.


I’ve titled my blog “Apace of Change” because it so precisely sums up my life situation: trying to keep abreast of ever-changing technology while also dealing with significant changes in my personal and professional lives.


I’m really doing this for the collaborative aspect – I need to talk about these issues with people, and where else other than Edublogs am I likely to find such folks?

So what’s changed?  I’m clearly no longer hosting with Edublogs, and I’ve since expanded the scope of my writing.  At first, I wrote a wanna-be ed-tech blog.  Now, I write a wanna-be blog about the broader landscape of education.  This shift has mirrored the changes in my professional life, from classroom teacher to school psychologist and professional development facilitator to aspiring administrator.  As my professional perspective and concerns have changed, so has the focus of my writing.

I’m also more comfortable in my own digital skin.  I think at the beginning I was modeling my writing very much on the other blogs I was reading, education and otherwise.  It took me a little while to find my own voice, but having done so – along with purchasing my own domain and hosting space – gives me an even greater sense of ownership over this digital space of mine.

Speaking of which, there’s also this statement from my portfolio website:

Since 2007, I have blogged at Apace of Change about the challenges, successes, and failures I experienced in attempting to infuse technology into my instruction and assessment as a high school English teacher.  From 2009 on, I shift focus to broader issues in education, with some focus on special education and school psychology related issues, including the use of read/write Web tools as assistive technology.

Blogging has great potential as a tool of reflection, and I have found that frequent and thorough reflection has helped me to become a better educator, psychologist, husband, and father.  Whereas some may prefer to write in a journal or simply reflect in thought, blogging allows for interaction with an audience.  In some cases, this interaction provides me with affirmation; in others, my thoughts are challenged.  Either way, as long as the discourse remains constructive, growth occurs.

There’s no two ways about it – I love getting comments on my blog, and do my best to respond to each one as best I can.  I’ve found, however, that as the years have passed, I’ve been more focused on the personal reflective aspect than the conversational aspect.  I don’t comment on other blogs as much as I used to, and I’ve noticed that comments on my blog have fallen off proportionately.  I’m OK with that, though, since a) as I write I’m reflecting and refining my thoughts as well as my words, and b) I get most of my discourse via Facebook and Twitter these days – another big change from the summer of 2007.

I know, I know – it’s 2012, and blogging is dead (or is it?), but as long as I still have ideas, problems, questions, or concerns about education, this blog is staying alive.