One of my first questions when I meet an educator is “what’s the address of your blog?”
I do it for a couple of reasons. First, I love reading educational blogs; secondly, I think it’s important to impress upon others the need for having an online, professional presence.
Sadly, the answer doesn’t always generate a new resource for my learning. Often, I’ll get answers like:
- What’s a blog?
- I don’t have time to blog
- It’s all been said. I have nothing to contribute
- Blogging is just one big echo chamber
- My principal or superintendent reads blogs and I don’t want to get into trouble for having an opinion
- I don’t want to be wrong and have someone else criticise me
- I don’t want to create a bad blog
...and I could go on.
There are so many reasons and/or excuses that it can get quite depressing at times. Yet, in the next breath, you’ll hear how they are 21st century teachers and leaders. I find it difficult to rationalise the differences.
It was the ‘bad blog’ comment that gave me the inspiration for the title for this post. In reality, it’s both a title and a vehement opinion.
Those of us who are long in the tooth remember the good ol’ days. We were isolated, maybe even shunned by the rest of the school. We poured over manuals looking for that one little bit that would put us over the top or give just that little extra push to make this work.
We would even go to community centres on Thursday nights to attend a user group to realise that we weren’t alone in our struggles. At times, it seemed like the ultimate in isolation.
Fast forward to today. You can still be in an isolation situation, banging your head against the wall over some little gotcha. But, only if you let yourself.
Educational blogging has the power to change everything:
A grade four classroom or teacher can connect with another classroom down the hall or around the world on a particular topic.
Are you teaching a topic and looking for resources or ideas? You’re not locked into accessing traditional resources. Post a plea for help and you’ll be amazed at the support you’ll get.
Have you created an original resource and want to get the satisfaction that you’re helping someone else? Why not create a post and share it?
Learning and understanding
Is there a piece of research about student learning that you don’t understand? Blog about your concerns and look for the responses and insights
Every good teacher reflects on the events of the day with an eye for how it could be done better in the future. What better way to facilitate this reflection than to blog about it? It’s a digital record and opens the door to another aspect - it doesn’t have to be publicly viewable unless you want it to be.
Sometimes, you just blog for yourself
The whole 21st century thing
We all laugh at jokes about how employers check out potential employees on social media. They absolutely should and when they check you, they should realise what a resource you are for your classroom and the wider institutional system
When you consider the value, not only to yourself, but also to anyone who cares to read your blog, it’s difficult to imagine any blog being considered a bad blog. Let’s go back to the excuses and strike that one from the list. The rest now become a short list of bad excuses that are all easily addressed.
Get them out of the road, start your blog and be prepared when someone asks “what’s the address of your blog?” That’s the moment when the magic begins.
Read more from Doug via his blog.