25 ways to make yourself unpopular: #24 Do not contribute to education technology discussions

Intellectual DiscussionThere is little I find more annoying than being lectured to by people who have all the answers, but do not engage in (rational) discussion on the subject. 

For example, a deputy headteacher once informed me that his school was going to spend thousands of pounds on instruction technology known as “integrated learning systems”, and that they were going to get the least able students to work on them all day.

I told him that some recent research said that the benefits of such systems was short-lived if all you did was use them and nothing else, and that such intensive use of them was counter-productive anyway. This had no impact at all, because

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50 Ways to contribute to a website

I love having guest contributors to this website and the Computers in Classrooms newsletter, because it provides more variety. However, not everyone likes writing. If that applies to you, or your pupils or students, there are several ways in which you – and they – can contribute.

I've written this relatively objectively because these suggestions would apply to contributing to any website or blog I should imagine, not just this one. Indeed, one or two of them don't apply to this one at all at the moment, such as contributing to a forum.

Also, the list is almost certainly not complete. If you have any other suggestions, do let me know.

If you're a website or blog owner, you might find this list useful as a way of suggesting to your own readers how they might contribute to your efforts.

  1. Write an article.
  2. Write a poem.
  3. Write a special type of poem, like a limerick or a haiku.
  4. Write a song.
  5. Write a special type of song, like a rap song or a blues song.
  6. Write a play (but not a full-length one please!).
  7. Write a special type of play, like a play for one person.
  8. Draw a picture.
  9. Draw a special type of picture, like a cartoon.
  10. Design a quiz.
  11. Design a special type of quiz, like a word search or a crossword.
  12. Create a presentation in SlideShare. The beauty of having an online newsletter is that your presentation can be linked to, or even embedded.Create a video.
  13. Create a special kind of video, like a 12 second one .
  14. Make a podcast.
  15. Make a special kind of podcast, like an interview with someone who uses technology in interesting ways.
  16. Review a podcast.
  17. Review a SlideShare presentation.
  18. Review a software application.
  19. Review an item of equipment.
  20. Review a service.
  21. Write a case study of practice you know about.
  22. Write a report on something you've tried out in your classroom.
  23. Write a report on something you're thinking of trying out in your classroom.
  24. Write a lesson plan.
  25. Write a lesson resource.
  26. Review a website.
  27. Write a how-to crib sheet.
  28. If you're representing an organisation, take out an advertisement in the newsletter. 
  29. If you're representing an organisation, place a sponsored article in the newsletter.
  30. If you're representing an organisation, offer a book, some hardware, or some software for review.
  31. If you're representing an organisation, offer a book, some hardware, or some software as a prize in a competition. I've run competitions from time to time, and they always go down well.
  32. Proofread a newsletter issue.
  33. Contribute to a survey (I always try to ensure that they never take more than 10 minutes to do).
  34. Leave comments. Sometimes it feels like nobody is reading anything, especially in the early days. Fortunately, I receive comments through email, Twitter and Facebook, but if someone has just started out, as it were, they need some encouragement to carry on.
  35. Send the author a comment by email. At least s/he will know that someone is listening!
  36. Contribute to a forum on the website, if there is one.
  37. Make suggestions for improvements.
  38. Write an article about something they've written, with a link back to their article.
  39. Offer a White Paper or similar resource for them to review -- as long as you don't make it conditional on a positive recommendation.
  40. Share articles you like via Twitter and other networks.
  41. Suggest a reading list for readers.
  42. Suggest a blog list for readers.
  43. Suggest a podcast list for readers.
  44. Suggest a video list for readers.
  45. Send in a photo or a link to one.
  46. Report on a conference, especially if it's one that the website owner was unable to attend.
  47. Offer to report on a conference session. Parallel sessions are the bane of our lives in some respects! Being able to attend one session and report on two or three is the stuff of dreams.
  48. Take part in an interview, via email or Skype.
  49. Invite the author to take part in a discussion. I love being invited because it means I make contact with people I may not otherwise have come across.
  50. Contribute in a way that I haven't yet thought of.

If any of these suggestions appeal to you as a way of contributing to my efforts (ed tech-related only, please), please look at the notes and terms & conditions.