500 Not Out


This is my 500th blog post.

I am not one for milestones but this digital space has been close to my heart ever since I started. It has contributed in so many different ways to where I am today. So I am taking a minute to look  back a little on where it all began.

I started writing a blog back in late July 2006 (wow, close to 9 years ago). It was called ICT in the Classroom and I set out to share about just that:

“So here I am – first blog about me and my ICT. It is something I am passionate about and hopefully this space will be somewhere for me to channel my thoughts a little and to explore my experiences of ICT in my classroom.”

In those days I had a blog with Edublogs. They did a sterling job of helping me get started.  I am still grateful to James, Sue and everyone at Edublogs for helping me and thousands of others get started with blogging.

My first real post was about, surprise surprise, blogging! And it would seem the enduring nature of this tool remains strong today:

“This whole blogging thing has caught up with me. I have started one for my son to record his first few years with us – I hope it will be something that he enjoys looking back upon later in life. It is great fun to do.

My own blog will be a learning curve as well, I have begun to explore the ways that blogs can be used in education and specifically with my class next September. At my first teaching post I had to build and maintain a website, fitting this around work is hard. The beauty of blogging is how easy it is to create and publish work online.”

It is “fun” and even easier nowadays to publish content in beautiful ways.

I also began to understand the social aspect of blogging. As I have said before, for me it was the first social platform I experienced. I connected with other bloggers through the beauty of the pingback. If you were added to a blogroll it was a massive win!

Commenting was essential for establishing connections in those pre-Twitter days. This is where the rich discussions would unfold. Sometimes far outweighing the published words in the original post. Another blogging habit would be creating a post based on someone else’s writing. This reaction or commentary style post was common and helped snowball ideas. This was especially true when they were about classroom practice.

I had the privilege of reading many blogs to gain some idea of how to behave. I am grateful to Peter Ford, Ewan McIntosh, Doug Belshaw and many others who helped me figure it all out. Getting a blog comment from these legends was always exciting. (Amazing to think that now I can call Peter and Ewan my colleagues)

I hope that projects such as #28daysofwriting help you discover or get back into this glorious habit. And I am resolute that I will be around to talk about my 1000th blog post.


  1. That’s a great post thanks for sharing John – I can only apologise that I didn’t include you in reference to those who influenced me in the early days. Your pioneering blogging helped me understand it was so important and the value it could add to my own work. I will always be grateful to you.

  2. Thanks Aaron I have been grateful for your own engagement in the month of blogging and certainly see a natural step to focus on commenting. I hope we can wind back the clock to enjoy deeper discussion and engagement than we do now.

  3. Well done Tom. Having only started rather recently, I read with wonderment about the days when it was comments within the community. Now there are so many different ways to ‘share’ and comment, that I wonder if it has diluted the discussions in some way. In addition to this, the rise of mobile technology and reading through apps has dinted this too I imagine.
    Good luck for the next 500.

  4. Tom, thanks for the opportunity and challenge of #28daysofwriting. I’m up to 8 blogs and feel like that s a massive win. I may only be writing about my day to day events and thoughts at this stage but I already feel like it’s a big step. I stated my reason for not starting to blog was confidence and I still feel a little lacking in it when I have to press that publish button but knowing a few key colleagues will read it occasionally is inspiration enough. Congrats on the 500 not out…an impressive effort and not just quantity, bursting with quality. I always feel challenged when I’ve read yours and that’s a good thing.
    Thank you, Diane

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