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Education, Professional Development, Social Media, Technology

What’s the point? Blogging and tweeting…my two cents.

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.  ~ Henry Ford

The Edublog Award nominations are out, and with them, a flurry of blog posts and tweets making the social media universe aware that voting has begun, and addressing the pros/cons.  In the process of scanning some of these posts, I ran across a piece by Josh Stumpenhorst, that (along with accompanying comments) struck a chord.  In Complaining and Campaigning, Josh emphasized that the Edublog Awards should not be about “winning,” but he pointed out that they are a great venue for sharing work and that they provide an outstanding opportunity to expand our personal learning networks.

Those who read my blog know that I am a strong advocate of both Twitter, and blogging, as professional development tools.  I can not overstate the degree to which interactions via these social media venues have provided professional connections and shaped my thinking about a wide variety of educational topics.  On a DAILY basis I utilize social media to expand my professional interactions well beyond the walls of my school – gaining access to current events, innovative practices, and encouragement from people (many of whom I have never met face to face) who I consider colleagues.  Without a doubt, blogging and tweeting allow educators to develop a diverse professional learning network and participate in ongoing and dynamic professional development.

These tools also provide opportunities for perhaps the most important practice in education: reflection.  I can not begin to tell you how many times my beliefs about educational practice have been challenged by what I have read in a blog, or on Twitter.  Over the past couple of years, my concept of what is possible in education has been stretched.  When I hear that something can not be done, I often know of a teacher, administrator or school that has done it.  I have learned to question my daily practice, never settle for the status quo, and consistently be asking if there is a better way.  Writing this blog provides me an opportunity to organize my thoughts, and reflect out loud — so to speak — with the added benefit of receiving diverse feedback.

So back to those Edublog Awards.  Like Josh, I am honored to have been nominated for an Edublog Award — primarily because of the high esteem in which I hold those by whom I was nominated.  That, in itself is the honor.  The truth of the matter is, when it comes to recognizing those who contribute to the discussion of improving education in this world, there are thousands (perhaps even millions) deserving of the honor.  As partial evidence, check out this collection of education blogs created by Clive Elsmore (@clivesir).

As I was thinking about it last night, I sent out a few tweets with the tag #feedyourreader (as in RSS feed reader), providing a few names of bloggers/tweeters that are a part of my professional learning network and who regularly inspire and challenge my thinking.  I could have gone on for hours.

If you are a tweeting regular, I would encourage you to send out your own #feedyourreader tweet and recognize colleagues who have inspired, challenged, and stretched your thinking.  It could be a long list!

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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

6 thoughts on “What’s the point? Blogging and tweeting…my two cents.

  1. Of the nine faculty members of Knox Gifted Academy, only 2 of us are using it regularly. I’ve tried to “sell it” to my colleagues but I’m not getting many bites. Too bad because Twitter has been the #1 game changer for me professionally.

    Posted by Mr. Michael Buist (@buistbunch) | December 6, 2011, 10:04 pm
    • Thanks for the comment Michael. I think we just have to keep modeling. A few of our teachers at Willis have picked it up, but it hasn’t exactly spread like wildfire. I like the way you use Twitter to communicate information about your class — I even feel like I have a pretty good idea of what you are doing 🙂 Do you get a good response from parents?

      Posted by azjd | December 7, 2011, 6:57 pm
  2. Congrats! Have you ever been nominated before?

    Posted by Rivka Fogel | December 7, 2011, 4:03 pm
  3. You’ve got this right, Jeff: The Edublog Awards really shouldn’t be about “awards” as much as they are about “celebration” of the brilliance that surrounds us in the digital spaces that we share with one another.

    As a quick addition to your “why bother” bit, I believe that principals who are active in social spaces have the chance to build their credibility with their faculty members simply because they are making their own thinking and reading and reflecting transparent.

    You know, the honest truth is that it is hard for us teacher folks to buy into “the principal as instructional leader” label when we rarely see y’all instructing — or even thinking actively about instruction.

    And because of the ridiculous demands of your job, it’s hard for y’all to find the time to instruct — or to engage in meaningful conversations with EVERY teacher about instruction.

    Heck, in the course of my career, I could count the conversations about instruction that I have personally had with principals on one hand.

    But when you’re actively making your learning transparent by sharing what you’re reading and by writing about what your reading in social spaces, you have the chance to stand as a thinker in front of anyone who wants to look — and that’s cool.

    Any of this make sense?
    Bill

    Posted by Bill Ferriter | December 9, 2011, 5:04 pm

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Jeff Delp

Junior high principal by day, sports enthusiast, technology fanatic and jedi in my own mind. Striving to be a difference maker!
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