HEY! Self promotion online

I have to say it, I’m a flawed human being. As various people know, particularly Neil Brown, Alan O’Donohoe and Reena Pau who have been on the end of some of my grumbling, a lot of my motivation for new projects comes from the potential to have a positive impact on others.

Since I started blogging last year I have published a lot of resources. I have given away free booklets, worksheets and code solutions for teaching AS Computing, learning HTML, CSS and jQuery, PHP, various programming projects and numerous other smaller things on my blog. These took me absolutely HOURS to create and I have of course used all of them in my own teaching, but I could probably have charged money for some of them. I’m not being big-headed – I’ve certainly bought worse resources, put it that way. I’m also writing a complete A2 workbook which I’ll probably publish too when it’s finished, because I’m basically a sucker.

I helped at YRS 2012 this summer which I enjoyed immensely and found very worthwhile, even though it cost me a fair bit of money to attend. I’ve been involved with a lot of CAS activities from attending the working group meeting to contributing to the newsletter, writing on the forums and helping other members. I was appointed as a CAS Master Teacher and I will shortly be running some CPD sessions for teachers in my local area.

I also started the CAS #include this summer to promote diversity in Computing and we now have a great group of people helping out. Various companies, universities and individuals have kindly volunteered to run workshops at the hack day we are holding on June 15th 2013 which I’m organising (on my own). We are also hoping to hold a launch party, produce a pack of materials and curate our website and Wiki into an excellent resource for teachers.

So yeah – I do all this stuff and yet…nobody has a clue who I am.

anchormanI’m not saying that I do things solely for recognition – of course I don’t. I created my resources because I needed them, I went to YRS and contributed to CAS because I wanted to. However, I did hope that as a side effect of the huge amount of effort I’ve put in, I would gain some recognition amongst the Computing education community, and perhaps someone would respect me enough to ask me to speak at something, write about something, run a workshop etc. There have been *some* nice things (e.g. nice comments on the resources on the CAS site/Twitter) but every time I expend effort and this doesn’t happen, I feel crushed and wonder why I’m bothering to bust my ass to do this stuff as well as my day job for no reward. (That’s when Neil/Alan/Reena dusts me off and says “keep going”.)

I know, I’m flawed.

I have to admit that I am terrible at self promotion. I was reading this article by Athene Donald and thinking “that’s me” – I have never been any good at talking about my achievements and I have no idea how to go about saying “HEY! Look at me, I’m doing cool stuff and you should take notice!” without sounding like (to me) a big headed b*tch or a self-pitying harpy screeching “please LIKE ME”. (You may be rolling your eyes at this post thinking one or both of those things right now 😉 )

There is plenty of talk of women not being on company directors boards and not being comfortable in Computing careers. Maybe in order to create more successful girls we should also be showing them that it’s OK to ‘brag’ about what they do and how to go about it the right way to get their achievements noticed?


7 thoughts on “HEY! Self promotion online

  1. Had a sympathetic chuckle at this…

    Why not explore publishing your resources – much of the stuff on http://www.packtpub.com/ is done by teachers and there are some great ebook resources that I am happy to pay for (mostly Moodle and Mahara).

    Good though that you were selected as a CAS Master teacher – thats a big feather in your cap. There are other organisations that you could explore to get your resources to a wider audience and get some of the recognition your work deserves eg SSAT, ScoopIT etc. I am sure if you write to pubishers many would jump at the chance of a book being written. I wonder if all the CAS Master teachers could make a joint book together. Computing is such a big thing. Alternatively why not produce some elearning resources that could be embedded on learning platforms or create resources on your LP that you can charge for the same way that this company does – http://www.moodlebites.com/mod/page/view.php?id=3212

    Alternatively why not join the (ever growing) club and just retweet all the comment people make about you :o)

    1. Thanks for the helpful reply. It’s not that I *want* to make money from resources (although I haven’t ruled it out), it’s more that I’d quite like to be known for producing good quality stuff. It may be that the perception is that things which cost money are worth more, so you may be right about going down the publishing route. I really like the CAS MT book idea – I will suggest it! (She says…adding yet another thing to her list of overly enthusiastic ideas :D)

      I’m not a big fan of the comment retweet club as it makes me cringe. I don’t want to sell out on my principles in order to become well known, although maybe that’s me being naive!

  2. We all know your work and how much you do. lets face it your resources and blog posts are a fave of my 6th formers and a bit of a running joke. Why dont you try a barcamp or cas bring and brag next year. itsworked wonders for me and is how @tekno got started. remember: Alan does the stuff most of us dare to dream about. also as a second point, read this blog: http://www.classroomtm.co.uk/my-best-teacher-ukedchat/

    1. I hope it’s a joke in a good way!! I think I will try to do the CAS bring and brag at the conference – it has been difficult for me previously because of school duties, but given that the #include conference is the day after the CAS conference and so I’ll already be having a messed up week, I’m sure I can manage it! Thanks for the support 🙂

  3. I for one, agree with your final paragraph – we need to educate people about self-promotion, rather than writing hundreds of articles on how ‘women don’t know how to do X’ and ‘women are more prone to doing Y’.
    I’d be honoured to have you on a Stemettes panel this year, and to convert some of your efforts into speaking engagements here, and abroad.

  4. Just wanted to leave a post saying thank you for all the stuff you have made available. My Sixth former’s asked today… why you don’t just teach them, as you effectively are …. (they have found your blog, and keep an eye on it themselves) .. (

    Wanted to respond, but realized at least from the point of view of the programming unit, most of the stuff is (Moved from Delphi to Python this year at A-level, so a lot of the stuff you produced has been a wonderful help)….

    So a big thank you for everything you have done / doing!…

  5. Echoing the previous posts it seems that a lot of people DO appreciate what you labour to produce. Teaching seems to me to be a very intrinsic group! Teachers network mainly with teachers and deliver and share resources with other teachers. Do most teachers look at who created the resources on TES that they’re downloading and using? I doubt it. Being a CAS Master Teacher is something you should be immensely proud of, and I’m sure within the CAS group it will reap benefits for you. As for speaking at public events and general recognition it’s not something I would worry too much about. Most of the speakers are just that – speakers, they aren’t the do-ers. GB (as do most events) provided a lot of recognition due to the fact that you become the figurehead for attention – but it would have been NOTHING without the dedication of the industry chaps and educators that come along and delivered the workshops and talks. I’ve seen a lot of events where it seems to be all about the “organiser”, whereas for me GB, YRS etc is all about those that provide the workshops and give up their own time for the greater good.

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