The #blimage challenge

The #blimage challenge was started as a bit of fun between @AmyBurvall and @timbuckteeth . They started it on July 18th and it has been growing steadily ever since with many of their friends and colleagues participating. The challenge is this: Send a personal message with an image to a friends and colleagues and ask them to write a learning related blog post about it. The image needs not to be connected to education at all. On Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/sensor63/blimage/) is a collection of images used in #blimage blogs. A search in Pinterest will give you more images on the subject. Simon Ensor made a flipboard about #blimage: a https://flipboard.com/@sensor63/blimage-str9h513z.
You are sent an image which you then have to write about, metaphorically or literally. The subject is educationan in a wide range of points of view. At the end of your blog post you do challenge some of your friends with another image of your own choice. Of course you publish your blog on social media, twitter, using the #blimage hashtag to let us know you did join and write.
The name and hashtag for this challenge is #blimage which a portmanteau and is short for blog + image.
In France @sensor63 joined the challenge. And now the thing is getting global on social media like twitter.

Why do people join the blimage challenge? Some say it is the fun of being connected to friends. Some tell it is very inspirational to write about education with the image as a source for lateral thinking. It is creative and makes one think in new directions. The édu flâneuse (https://theeduflaneuse.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/viva-la-boredom-blimage/) calls it blogspirational.

@AmyBurvall writes: “The appeal of #blimage is part “creativity in constraint” and part “game”,(not to mention the fact that everyone needs a dose of healthy metaphorical thinking …”.

Steve Wheeler: ” Some educators are now blogging for the first time. Others have returned to sharing their ideas after a time away from blogging. Still others (like me) have discovered new and fascinating education blogs for the first time.”
And reading the blogs of colleagues is a great way to learn more about education. Writing about your teaching and reading the texts of others will help you to teach. A Dutch teacher did receive  comments on her blog about some special agricultural words she used in the blog. She is a farmer and a teacher.  Now they are corresponding about words and meaning.  The challenge puts an image into a blog with a focus on an educational context and frame of reference. It builds connections and meaning among those who see, share, relate experiences and tell stories around a particular image. It openly integrates the key attributes of great physical places – sociability, use & activity, access & linkages, and comfort & image – into digital spaces. (https://fiveflames4learning.wordpress.com of H.J.DeWaard)

With help of the #blimage hashtag you could connect to likeminded colleagues in your language or all around the world.

The hashtag #blimage in the tittle of the blogpost is used to aggregate a list of blogs.http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-blimage-list.html .

In the Netherlands the #blimageNL hashtag is used when the blogpost is in Dutch. And in Italy it is #blimageIT, #blimageES is used in Spain. And there will be more forks of blimage in your part of the world.

My #blimage challenge: Write an educational blogpost. Use one or more of the images of this blogpost as inspiration. Add #blimage to the tittle of the post. Let the world know when your blogpost is ready by use of twitter or other social media. And pass the challenge to somebody else.

How about starting a challenge like this #blimage in your classes about your subject? Think of all the fun and the writing experience for your students.

Jaap Bosman

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