An unpublished draft….Why do I (continue to) Blog?

I found this blog while look at some of my old posts.  Even though I wrote this nearly two years ago, I think it still states clearly why I took up the practice of blogging and continue to do so!

Why do I blog?

1. I have found that the practice of putting my thoughts together about our school, how we impact our students, involve parents, incorporate technology, and attempt to change in what I consider to be revolutionary times (in education) allows me clarify where I stand on many issues. It is as much about self examination and professional growth as it is trying to move our institution forward…..if those two things can be seperated. I will have to admit when Ms. Hill challenged our faculty to examine the aspects of Web 2.0 and she told us many teachers as well as administrators were blogging, I was very apprehensive about it and even thought putting my thoughts into words for public consumption could be dangerous (how I do not know, but it sounded like a good excuse!), but now that I have tried it, I must say I really like it!

2. It is a great way to communicate. As many of you know, I am not the greatest communicator. (I heard that!) By forcing myself to “address” our staff, students and community stakeholders I do believe I have been able communicate more effectively. I know I still have a long ways to go, but blogging is allowing me to grow in this area.

3. I am hoping to encourage our staff to use this medium to engage students, parents and the community. We have seen a few examples in this school how blogs can be used. We have only scratched the surface. If you are truly interested in seeing how a blog can be used as a “virtual” extension of your classroom, see me. There are some great examples. Blogging is the first step in moving towards what I believe is a shift educators must make in order to reach students. Teenagers are spending lots of time online on social networking sites sharing thoughts, ideas and creating some fantastic stuff (and some not so great stuff too!) on places like Facebook and MySpace. They will naturally gravitate and become engaged if we incorporate the best features of the everchanging information age in how we engage our students!

4. I have become aware of one of our greatest shortcomings. We do not communicate well enough or often enough with parents. Right or wrong, many of our parents perceive us as not wanting their involvement, that we do not welcome their input, thoughts or ideas. I think our web presence can go a long way to ameliorate our communication “gap” with parents. In a recent poll, (on this blog) a majority of readers identified Classroll.com as our best innovation in recent years. Classroll has greatly increased the amount of information we provide parents and it leaves them wanting more. We need to view parents as our best ally in motivating and reaching our students. I think a classroom blog that is kept up to date with student input will only increase our “visablity” in the community (We are no longer using Classroll.com, we have begun to use the MMS teacher a parent portals this school year).

Please realize that although I talk a lot about change and the need to do things differently, by doing so I am not saying that teachers have been doing it wrong or that I do not value the way you teach your students. I think the mediums by which students communicate and are entertained have advanced to the point where we must consider those influences and change our pedagogy accordingly!

3 thoughts on “An unpublished draft….Why do I (continue to) Blog?

  1. I love my blog. I love it when students come on and respond to what I've written because it allows me to get a better idea of who they are and what they believe than I can through classroom discussion alone. I have students who will sit quietly in class and never really voice much of an opinion on anything turn around and leave wonderfully insightful comments on my blog topics. The challenge I am facing right now is getting them to be more regular respondents. Since I offer it as an extra credit opportunity, I find that I don't get any comments more than a week out from the end of a grading period. I don't really want to make it an additional assignment because I don't want it to turn into another box they feel they need to check, but I would like to see them more active on my blog, and I would love to see them more active on this blog. The conversations taking place on here are vitally important to the direction of our school, and I believe student input is a necessity.

    Does anyone have any ideas about increasing student involvement on our blogs.

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  3. Your comments are very helpful to me. I am a high school principal and a first time blogger, learning while taking a related course. My course project is to set up a separate blog to use with my faculty and staff with the goal of expanding to include students and parents. Your thoughts are right on tract with my own.

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