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Digital Literacy Professional Growth

Practice Makes Perfect

So, to recap, I am an elementary teacher who has spent the last decade teaching abroad in Seoul, South Korea and on Grand Cayman Island.  This year, circumstances forced my family home to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Avoiding Covid, surgery, and a strong desire to get better at my job has stifled my desire, and in some ways, my ability to get a classroom job right now.  That’s why I’m using this year as a time for professional growth.

I toyed with the idea of enrolling in a university program of some sort, but the timing was off, I wanted to start immediately.  Besides, I don’t really need more credentials, or a hefty bill.  Still, I wanted to improve, and make myself more marketable in the process.

Enter Eduro Learning.  A number of years ago I got my certificate of educational technology and informational literacy from the Coetail program.  If you are an educator and are looking for a way to enhance your technology skills, and bring learning to life for your students I highly recommend it!  Kim Cofino, one of the Coetail co-founders, is also one of the driving forces behind Eduro.  So, that’s how I’ve come to go “au la carte” with some of Eduro’s offerings, and how it is that you are reading about it.  I’m currently taking individual self-paced classes and couldn’t be happier.

Blogs are one of the tools I’ve learned about through Eduro.  Blogging itself is not new to me, but if you haven’t used a platform, or haven’t stayed on top of the updates, setting up a blog can seem like a Herculean undertaking.  Also, in my experience, if you want to set yourself up for success you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the tech you intend to use with students anyway.  Just finding your own way through the process is incredibly humbling and incredibly worthwhile.

For example, this is a WordPress blog. If you are new to this platform, or rusty like me, my first recommendation is to go to youtube immediately.  I found Hershal Patel to be very helpful at getting me up and running.  I’m sure there are many good sources out there, but I found a lot of them are for helping businesses, which have specialized blogging needs like money handling features and such.  

My second piece of advice is to read some blogs.  Look and see how other people have organized theirs. The temptation is to load it up with widgets and cool features, but my own take on this is that it’s like the novice cyclist on the $20,000 bike, all glitz and no substance.   Get some content up first. Looking at the blogs of some of my teachers helped me to know that I wanted a drop down menu at the top, that I wanted a static home page, that I wanted an archive feature, and that I needed categories.  (See, those were terms I hardly understood a week ago.) I found this Yoast Video to be extremely helpful for much of this.

There you have it.  The beginning of my covid hibernation professional skill enhancement tour!  Next stop, social media.

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