doing our best not to drown in a sea of top-down prescription, proscription and conscription. Often our ideas are derived from other sources such as schemes of works, textbooks or from our tried-and-tested materials gathered over the years. There is nothing wrong with that if it is coupled with an occasional foray, when we can, into avenues of fresh ideas, approaches and invention. If teachers are able to innovate from time to time and then share with others what they have done, then effective ideas can spread. It is this sort of grass-roots innovation that moves the teaching profession on.
The creative teacher is more than just an innovative practitioner though. To be a catalyst for creativity then we must also be willing to share from our own experiences of creativity in action in our own lives. Skills and knowledge that underpin many creative processes need undoubtedly to be taught but there is also a creative element of subjects that is more ‘caught’ than taught. In short we must practice what we preach!
If you agree with the idea of the occasionally-innovative teacher, let me point you in the direction of creating a blog as a potentially creative tool in your hands and a platform for sharing your attempts at innovation. If creativity is just not your thing in teaching then a blog will simply frustrate and waste your time. You have been warned!
Should you decide to accept this challenge then you will create a blog for your own use as an educator. You will evaluate it as a way of sharing ideas and modelling personal creativity. You will consider how a blog could be used with students and trial one activity with some students. You can work at your own pace.
The technical skills required for creating and using a blog are similar to that required for writing and sending an email. The mechanics can be mastered reasonably quickly. Using a blog, however, to model creativity, to share ideas and to impact teaching and learning depends almost wholly on the creative vision of the teacher.
For that reason this challenge covers only the basic mechanics of blogging and relies heavily on teachers to adapt the use of blogs to their own circumstances. You can read about how others have used blogs in the case studies in this booklet. You can read of my experiences at http://ford.naaceblogs.org/12/. You will have your own creative ideas though and it is these that will fuel the success of your blogging
If after completing the challenge, you decide that blogging is a totally inappropriate educational tool, you will at least, be able to make that assertion from the authority of practical experience. Most critics of blogging do not have that luxury.
Go to www.edublogs.org and figure out how to create your own blog. The process is quite simple and involves filling a box like the one pictured below.