As the start of the school year approaches, educators are busy preparing for a great year. As learners, many of us will approach the new year with excitement and optimism after reflecting on our own teaching during our time away from the classroom.
Those of us who sport a growth mindset typically start each school year with the intention of being better. We have collected new ideas, thoughtfully considered how to implement them, and we are excited to make a difference in the lives and education of our students.
I truly believe that all educators should consider blogging as a tool for learning and this seems like the perfect opportunity to once again try to encourage all educators to blog!
Why I Blog
Blogging about experiences makes me accountable for taking the time to thoughtfully reflect on teaching and pursue ways to kick the learning up a notch. I learn more from blogging than from any other professional activity I participate in. Quite simply, I blog to learn.
Why Educators Should Blog
Becoming a blogger is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to grow as an educator. For many, blogging can become an essential part of the workflow, requiring us to dig deeper, engage in research, explain and reflect. Good blogging should include exploring the blogs of others as models, and sharing ideas and resources with your audience. The audience may be students, teaching teams, parents, or educators across the world. Blogging will ultimately help you become a connected educator.
Why Students Should Blog
Blogging provides students with authentic opportunities to improve writing, engage in research, read more and personally connect with their own learning through thoughtful reflection. If that's not enough, please consider these ideas.
- Blogs offer an exciting way for students to engage in real-world writing.
- Blogs give students a voice and an audience.
- Students write better and put more thought into the revision process when they are publishing for an audience.
- Blogs allow for feedback through comments which can be very motivating.
- Blogging requires students to engage in everyday research and dig deeper to construct knowledge through the synthesis of ideas.
- Blogging provides students with opportunities to connect with their own learning by remixing content, developing new ideas, and thoughtfully reflecting.
- Blogging provides educators with many opportunities for teaching students about digital citizenship, including Internet safety, crediting sources and practicing good online etiquette.
- Student blogs provide parents with a convenient and personalized opportunity to connect with their children's learning experiences.
Advice About Blogging
Throughout the course of my career as a blogger, I have helped many teachers get up and running with a blog. Here is my advice, based on The School of Hard Knocks, so to speak.
- Start simple! A new blog will have just one post. Write the post for yourself to explain why you have decided to start a blog.
- Since it takes time and effort to get people to check a blog, do not spend hours and hours filling your blog with information. Just use the blog as a tool for yourself, but write it for an audience.
- As you continue to experiment with blogging, explore the use of simple original images to capture visitors' attention.
- Learn to embed.
- Model good digital citizenship. We expect students to use copyright-friendly images, credit sources and share their own original work, and it's important for education bloggers to dig deep into Best Practices and try it yourself.
- When you are ready to share your blog with the world, use Twitter and other social media platforms to connect with educators and build your PLN.
- Share your blog with your students and provide them with opportunities to blog.