Why I Blog

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 | | 9 comments »

Via a Tweet from TeachaKidd, I read this blog entry related to blogging and why educators blog. The original post is here. Participation is needed in an Open PD session this afternoon that I would love to take part in via UStream or Skype. I've used these technologies before and but may be unavailable at that time. If I can't make it, I'll be bummed. At least I can share my thoughts here and hope that someone finds them.

The discussion will center on the following questions:

1. Where you blog and how long you have been blogging for?

I wrote by first entry on January 16th, 2007. That year, I wrote 62 entries and have posted 18 so far this year. I pretty much write about teaching, educational technology, other ideas related to school libraries. Occassionally I write about something the students did, something my children did, or something that bothers me, but for the most part, it's all related to education.

2. Why you blog? How does it benefit you or your work?

I started blogging because I wanted to learn about blogging itself. I had thoughts about trying it with students and figured I better learn it first. I have "met" some amazing people through blogging and have learned quite a bit. I benefit from blogging because I can share my thoughts, concerns, and questions with other in hopes of getting feedback. In short, I think it makes me a better educator, and I'm not alone. In many cases, I get ideas on how to handle situations. In other cases, I am encouraged to think. I think blogging takes on two parts - the writing and the reading. To me, reading other blogs is where I learn the most. While it's great to produce something that can create a conversation and perhaps share an idea, reading what others have to say is important to me. I currently follow about 50 blogs through Google Reader. In addition, I am notified about other blogs and posts through Twitter. I have done more professional reading over the last year and a half (my time Blogging) than I did in the previous five years.

3. How blogging has helped your students and how long have you been blogging with students (if applicable)

We recently started student blogs with a sixth grade class, but have had some trouble getting it going. There are a number of reasons I won't get in to, but I hope it's more successful down the road.

4. Why you feel blogging is important.

To me, blogging is important because I have made connections with other educators and leaders around the world. My peronal learning network, the new buzzword flying around, has grown quite a bit. I'm able to bounce ideas off a wider audience that I ever have. I'm able to learn more from a wider audience. I'm able to share experiences I have with others and learn from them. In addition, blogging has kept me up to date with Web 2.0 tools and other new educational technology tools. Without blogging, this would not have happened so quickly. Educators need to keep up to date with current trends. Not only in reading and math instruction, but in technology as well. Blogging is keeping me connected and it's really helped. I fell much more up to date than I have in the past.

5. What are the 3 most important tips you would share with a new blogger?"

1. Realize that you cannot read everything.
2. Read blogs, read blogs, and read blogs.
3. Don't let it consume you.


There you go, thoughts and comments are certainly welcome! Remember, conversations lead to learning.

9 comments

  1. Lee // April 9, 2008 at 11:53 AM  

    See? I learned something from you already! I also learn quite a bit about blogging from other bloggers. I like to read others' blog recommendations. Usually on the sidebars of their blogs, it's always interesting to me to see whose blogs are recommended. I need to update mine. Typically, you see the high-profile blogs, but I think I'm going to list some of the not-so-high-profile, but very worthy-of-subscribing blogs (like yours). I'm enjoying your blog and our PLN on Twitter. ~Lee

  2. Pirate AK // April 9, 2008 at 12:11 PM  

    Insightful post. Thanks. Blogging is fast becoming the way I take in new info in education and tech. I'm really glad to get to see all these great education blogs, found via TeachAKidd on twitter.

  3. Mister Teacher // April 9, 2008 at 8:29 PM  

    Hey dude,
    How you doin' since the Tar Heels' demise? It was good to see Ol' Roy wearing a Kansas shirt during Monday night's game. Maybe that will help put some of the bad blood behind them. He's a class act, I just don't like his team. ;)

  4. Sue Waters // April 10, 2008 at 12:28 AM  

    Hi Chad - thanks for taking the time to read and comment on Lee's post, visit my post then follow up with your own post. I had started reading your response before the session but needed some sleep before I started writing comments back (wasn't making much sense earlier).

    It was really early and hard to keep up with who was in the session. Did you end up making it to the Open PD? The sessions are on again for the next two weeks at the same time.

    I think your comment " I have done more professional reading over the last year and a half (my time Blogging) than I did in the previous five years." is something I hadn't thought a lot about but you are so right -- I've done way more reading since I've been a blogger which has made me think and reflect more than I had previously. Definitely the reading part is an important aspect of blogging. I loved reading your post on "Okay I'm addicted" -- I'm not the person to be talking about not letting it consume you :).

    Lee - if you are using Google Reader and add your blog subscriptions to a folder you can create a blogroll from this folder which then automatically displays your blog subscriptions. This way you don't have to manually update your links since Google Reader does it for you. There is a post on my blog that explains how to do this - great time saver although one reader said after checking my list that I need to lose some :) (not happening ).

    Sue Waters
    Mobile Technology in TAFE

  5. tasteach // April 10, 2008 at 1:44 AM  

    I only started blogging this year and also have a class blog for students in grade 6/7. They are thoroughly enjoying it too. I took part in that open PD at 7am my time this morning - was very interesting to hear opinions from around the world. Visit me at http://tasteach.edublogs.org

  6. Lee // April 10, 2008 at 7:23 AM  

    @sue waters
    Thanks for the tip on the Blogroll! I use Bloglines and like it a lot. I'll have to see if there is some mashup like it for that. Not discounting Google Reader just yet, though. Will check out your post on it. Thanks very much! ~Lee

  7. IMC Guy // April 11, 2008 at 9:10 AM  

    @Lee - thanks for the comments. I agree about finding some of the not-so-high profile blogs. I have several I really enjoy reading. Also, thanks for the folder tip using Google Reader.

    @Pirate - Great to hear blogging is helping you.

    @Mister - how did Duke do this year? Ever since I saw Hansbrough on the cover of SI last week, I knew the jinx was in order.

    @tasteach - I hope you enjoy and learn from blogging as much as I do.


    @Sue - I didn't make the session. I hope to make a future Open PD

  8. Joel // April 18, 2008 at 5:13 PM  

    Great stuff there dude! Thanks for linking to my article also.

    I like your three tips. I have fallen WAY behind on blog reading lately. For that matter, I feel like I've fallen way behind on blogging in general. Life sometimes gets in the way.

    And ya know what? That's okay!

    We live, we learn, and we move on. I'll be inspired to do a whole lot more writing in May. It looks to be an exciting month of reflection for me! Thanks again for keeping this train of thought chugging slowly along in my head.

    I like your new header logo, by the way. Simple and yet powerful!

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