Connected Educator 101: Blogging is Good for You!
I am putting together a new series for all the teachers I’ve spoken to who say they are interested in getting online but are unsure they have the time or know how to do it. Over the next few months I’ll do my best to share resources, tips and inspiration to get you connected!
I LOVE blogging. I can’t tell you how much it has changed my life. At first, it was a way for me to organize my thinking. As I’ve continued to grow and evolve as a blogger, I’ve realized how much it connects me with a larger community and has helped me grow as a person.
I believe all educators should blog.
I know, I know, it takes time. That said, working in the classroom, can be lonely at times. The more I’ve worked in schools, supporting teachers, the more I see how lucky I have been to learn from the amazing educators out there. This has also make me painfully aware of how privileged I have been to visit so many classrooms. Most teachers do not have his opportunity (We should change this… but that’s a topic for another blog!)
This past year, I was sick and unable to work for over 8 months. I renewed my connection to blogging as a way to connect with the outside world. (I also got into Twitter and will post on that next!)
That said, if you are on the fence, or are a little nervous about the idea, I’ve compiled a list of reasons to get you over your fears.
Blogging is easy … (and fun!)
Those of you with a touch of tech-phobia, are saying, “Yeah, easy for you to say!”. But, really, it’s true! Create a Blogger account for free using your Google ID or sign up for a free WordPress.com account. Nowadays, you don’t have to know fancy coding to have a really great site. Pick from a preset list of themes and you are off to the races! It’s as easy as typing and clicking “Publish!” When you get comfortable with that, you can get fancy and add images, links, and even embed video files!
Refine your Thinking
There is something cathartic about writing. Not only is extremely pleasing to see your ideas in print, it is very satisfying to really know what you really think on a topic of interest. Writing on various topics has also led me to learn more as I look for relevant links, research and resources to support my arguments. Want to gain expertise about any topic? Write about it! But, you already know this… you are a teacher!
Connect and Share Ideas with Others
I use my blog to organize my thoughts and express them to the world. I don’t get many comments on my site. Nonetheless, I am always surprised when folks I have recently met tell me they have been helped or impacted by what I have to say. I have even made new friends!
That said, blogging doesn’t always have to be so public. You can set up blogs for professional learning community. You can start one in your school or among similar minded educators. If I were a classroom teacher now, I’d start one for my students! And as a principal or educational leader at a site, blogging can be a great way to present new ideas and get conversations going among staff.
Blogs are Way Cooler (and More Efficient) Than Binders
Have you ever emailed yourself a file or link or downloaded a document only to find yourself searching for what seems like hours to find it again on your computer? Blogs are the best way I know to store and organize ideas, documents and links and other resources in a way that is searchable and always accessible. Wherever I am or whatever I am doing, I can always find it if I post an article about it in my blog.
Blogs are great for keeping link lists, uploading documents, or even storing pictures or video links. Keep all your multimedia files and resources together and access them all with the click of the button!
Ready to start a blog?
Here are some great links to get you started!
- 5 Tips to Start and Education Blog by Karen Mahon on her blog Disrupt Learning
- The Ultimate Directory Of Free Image Sources via @edublogs – Bookmark this post to get copyright free images for your blog! (Note: You can always link to the online image that’s posted without worrying about copyright. If you do this however, if the page where the image is posted moves or is taken down, you could end up with a broken link.)
Need More Inspiration?
Still feeling hesitant to start a blog? Check out a post by Shawna Miller, an educator who posted about her anxiety about starting a blog:
I have been contemplating starting a blog for months now. I am fortunate to have a wonderful PLN with amazing blogs that I enjoy reading and learning from on a weekly basis. Because I can not do anything without being prepared (I’m a slight perfectionist), I have participated in several Twitter chats and conference sessions about blogging and have received some great advice and support. “Jump in! Just give it a try. It doesn’t have to be perfect.” Great words of encouragement but I can not help but picture myself standing at the top of a cliff, toes hanging off the edge as my knees shake. Who wants to jump?! Not me!
Until now, [Read more…]
Here are a few inspirational posts from educator bloggers to get you started:
- Dear Principal: Read My Blog, Please from Scripted Spontaneity a blog written by eighth grade science teacher and former marine biologist Paul Cancellieri
- Diving into Project-Based Learning: Going Public from Philip Cummings by sixth grade language arts teacher Philip Cummings
- The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom by Larry Ferlazo in his blog Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day