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Education, Social Media, Students, Teaching

Blogging: 6 Reasons It’s Not Just for Adults

extreme sports and blogging

cc flickr photo by Will Lion

There have been no shortage of posts related to the reasons educators should blog. As my blog, Molehills out of Mountains, approaches its two-year anniversary, I have spent quite a bit of time considering how blogging has impacted my professional life. I believe that it is entirely reasonable to say that blogging, and the connections I have developed through “social writing”, have been a professional game changer for me. It has stretched, and in some cases completely upended, my thinking about key educational issues.

Professionally, I have taken on a number of roles during my career. I have been a math teacher, a science teacher, a dean of students, an assistant principal, and now a principal, but the one thing that will never change is that I am a perpetual student. This has never been more apparent than since I began blogging and dramatically extended my professional learning network. I can’t help but think that if blogging has been so beneficial to my career as an educator, it would make sense that it can be equally as effective for our students. Consider just a few ways in which blogging enhances the learning experience:

  1. Thinking Aloud – writing is a fantastic way to formulate ideas, map out plans, and think through problems and issues. It is one thing to have ideas floating around in your head, but spending the time required to put words to paper helps “flesh out” ideas and crystallize concepts.
  2. Reflection – blogging is an incredibly effective means of reflecting on a teaching strategy, an activity, a lesson, or an assignment. In addition, blogging lends itself to “social reflection,” allowing others to add their thoughts and opinions and ask questions that lead to closer examination of the topic at hand.
  3. Inquiry – I frequently find that as I blog, I generate more questions than answers. There are times that I pose these questions to my audience, but I also frequently find myself engaged in further research, searching for answers to my questions, and seeking the advice of my professional learning network. Questions lead to more questions, more research and more learning.
  4. Authentic Audience – blogging allows writers to share their ideas with a global audience. Most people don’t blog for attention or notoriety, but knowing that your post will be read, and possibly shared, with others lends a certain energy to the process. Even as adults, this is evident. Shouldn’t students have the opportunity to expand their audience beyond classroom walls?
  5. Feedback – I blog to share ideas, but I also blog to get advice from others in the field of education. Because blogging grants an audience to those who wish to publish their writing, it also allows the author to gather feedback from a people with a wide variety of experiences and perspectives.
  6. Pursuit of Passions – Blogging is a means of pursuing our passions and sharing our interests with others. As I have previously mentioned, it is an excellent platform for connecting with those who share a common interest and developing a network of individuals who will be supportive, offer advice and provide encouragement.

The list could go on…and on…and on.

While all of these characteristics of blogging are beneficial to professionals in the world of education, they could be equally, if not more, beneficial to those with whom we work–our students. It is important to remember that, in some form or fashion, we are all students and we should all continually seek out learning opportunities. Blogging is one means of pursuing and it provides benefits for “students” of ALL ages. Blog on.

Where the Internet is about availability of information, blogging is about making information creation available to anyone. ~ George Siemens



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About azjd

Junior high principal by day, aspiring difference maker, and Jedi in my own mind. Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Blogging: 6 Reasons It’s Not Just for Adults

  1. I really enjoyed this post. It resonates. I have been blogging for about a year and it has opened up a whole new world for me. Personally, blogging has turned into a real learning tool in regards to education in general, and counseling specifically. I always look forward to broadening my horizon of learning via my PLN and cherish the pracitce of ‘social reflection’ in the process of feedback. And you are right about the energy one gets from the global audience. It is quite humbling. Thanks so much for this post.

    Posted by marty | September 18, 2011, 5:57 am
  2. HI, I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South AL. I was assigned to read and comment on your blog. I will post a summary of this to my blog gilescassandraedm310.blogspot.com .
    I wanted to begin by saying I love the picture and quote you used to start your blog. When you think about it, it is really true it is writing aloud.
    I had never blogged before this semester. Actually I had never even read a blog before I started this class. I have to be honest when I first started I thought that nothing good could come out of blogging or tweeting and I was very close minded. Through this class forcing me to push my own personal limits and also by reading some great blogs and seeing how beneficial it could be to us and our students I am now a believer!!
    I agree with you we should never stop learning. Students should see us vulnerable in some situations it makes them more comfortable to know we also have to be taught. With blogging I see how beneficial it can be in the classroom. I think it opens a world of endless opportunities for students and teachers alike. I think it could also be very beneficial for parents, not only can they stay connected with the classroom but they are also allowed to share their feelings or concerns freely. It is definitely beneficial for all ages. I would love to implement blogging in my own classroom when I become a teacher. Great blog thanks for sharing it.

    Posted by Cassie Giles | September 21, 2011, 12:38 pm
  3. A couple of my students really want to start blogs. Two have already – both with their parents’ guidance. One student is focused on movies and music. The other just wants to write about “Kid stuff.” His first two entries include a magic trick, and “the perfect kid drink.”

    The hardest part for me is the additional permission slip I have to create. We have Google sites available to kids through our school account, but the sites are behind so many firewalls that the kids can’t get the feeling of a truly “authentic” audience (i.e. grandparents, other kids via a subscription feed).

    The subscription helps me (and parents) monitor whether or not they are being unsafe – which is safer (in my mind) than the login walls.

    I really enjoy watching the kids enjoy writing :).

    Janet | expateducator.com

    Posted by Janet Abercrombie | September 22, 2011, 11:28 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Why Open Online Digital Portfolios? « Mister Norris - October 3, 2011

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