AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators



Liz Zadnik on Alternatives to Creating an Evaluation Blog or Writing a Blog Post

Hi there wonderful readers!  Liz Zadnik here with my first Saturday post of the new year.  I have been struggling with what to write and thought some of you might be feeling the same way, so I came up with some activities, resources, and ideas to get you started.  

Let me first say, that I love writing for this blog and being a part of this community.  It is tremendous and I am regularly inspired and motivated by contributors and commenters.  I also know, though, that writer’s block is real and a blog can be an intimidating endeavor.  So let’s brainstorm some other avenues for creativity…

Rad Resource:  I don’t know about you, but I need music or noise in the background when I’m working on something.  Songza offers playlists based on the time of day, activity, and mood!  Spotify is also great, as it’s so easy to create a playlist or create “radio stations” based on a song you like.  Sharing playlists and favorite tracks for a specific activity are great ways to engage readers or followers on social media.

Hot Tip:  Podcasts are a fantastic source of inspiration!  For me, they are a source of comic relief, information, and creative energy.  Some of my favorites are Stuff You Should Know, The JV Club with Janet Varney, and RadioLab.  Morning commutes wouldn’t be the same without them.  I’ve discovered books and artists I never would have otherwise without these generous folks sharing their research, insights, and stories.   

Interested in creating your own podcast or episode?  Great idea!  Try recording yourself talking for a few minutes about your favorite topic or current event or interview a colleague about a blog post, podcast episode, or recent study.  Podcasts can range from 15 minutes to an hour or two.  Some laptops and computers have great microphones built in, but you may want to borrow or purchase a quality microphone.  When it comes to editing, there are some free programs like Audacity and GarageBand that are user-friendly and intuitive.  This is a great way to personalize your blog or website.     

Cool Trick:  Who doesn’t love a library?!  Create your own personal curated list of 10 books on a certain topics.  Not a reading list per se, but your “go-to” resources on a specific topic.  Community readiness assessments?  Teaching evaluation?  Focus group facilitation?  You could even catalog your own personal library at home.  

And when all else fails, play around in Canva!  I created a desktop wallpaper for you to help kick the weekend off right.  

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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