I began this blog as a product of a Fellowship I held for one semester at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. The Fellowship was something of a disappointment to me as my intentions did not work out as planned. I had hoped originally to be allowed access to emails of students and instructors who had taken or taught online at the university. I was then going to develop a questionaire to survey their varied experiences and from that draw usable conclusions. Alas, I was stonewalled on access and at the last minute had to change my approach radically. I decided to present a paper/talk on how to teach online, drawn of necessity primarily from my own experience. I did a lot of reading in the social scientific literature and attended one conference run by an organization that claimed to be in the forefront of best practices for online instruction. I duly finished and gave the talk, but was not happy. The Prezi I used is linked to the website this blog appears on, so anyone can judge. My own thoughts are that my results were pretty thin.
But, one aspect was to continue this blog and the website also and that I do judge better. I am an indie author in another life and at one of the very useful Indie author conferences I attend three times (thrice!) a year I learned about blogging books. Most writers can organize their time sufficiently well enough to have a block of time each day to write. My home situation does not allow this. My writing is done in snatched moments. I can find 5-30 minutes at a stretch to write a blog post and give it a quick edit.
As I say, one session at one of these conferences was about blogging a book. That is, each blog post, whether that be daily, or twice a week or once a week is a building block of a future book. I thought this is perfect for my situation and I decided to produce a book out of this blog. The person presenting this idea suggested that one could produce 50,000 words, a short book, over the course of a year blogging. This is not to say that this is the finished product – but it would be the first rough draft.
I have 75 blog posts going back to July 31, 2011. I haven’t done a word count but I suspect this is more than enough for a book. It is time I think to transfer these words to my word processor, or better yet to Apple’s iBooks Author program. There I can easily produce a multimedia eBook – after all a book on online instruction should be multimedia. Only this free program from Apple allows a writer to produce a multimedia work without having to hire a development team. The few multimedia books produced that way cost many thousands of dollars to produce. This will be of the same quality but the only cost will be in my time which is mine to spend.
This won’t be the last blog post – I will continue to write here as ideas occur and information flows to me. But the blogs up to this point are now transmogrifying to first draft status as a book.