That is the question…
Several years ago, blogging was a foreign term to most of us. Those who ‘had’ blogs or wrote blogs were a breed unto themselves, and few people even READ other blogs or even commented on them! (Not too often though…)
It was with fear and trepidation that I began my own professional blog at the beginning of this year, unsure of where to start and what to write. What could I communicate that was of any value to anyone else?
Lucky for me, we had an eLearning consultant working in our school at the time who was able to advise me around this. She was great at putting it into context for me by first asking – WHO are you blogging for? WHY are you blogging? WHAT will be the purpose of your blog?
I realised at that point that this was going to be my own personal reflections of my eLearning journey with my class this year. It began slowly as I struggled to find themes and ideas to write about. Then I realised that my audience of one (me) had suddenly expanded to 30 regular readers and even followers! The pressure was on!
However, it was also at this point that I knew I had discovered WHY I was blogging – the reason was very clear, it was so that I could reflect and learn from my experiences and then share those experiences with other teachers on the same journey as me.
Through the power of social networking – Twitter and Facebook mainly – I developed a PLN (professional learning network) whose discussions gave me ideas to write about so that the themes, topics and discussions that were percolating in the cyberworld have become the fodder for my thoughts and ramblings.
If I can advise anyone who is on the eLearning journey to do anything to change and grow your thinking, it is to blog. I have learnt more about reflection than I ever could have through simply talking. Blogging is NOT easy for everyone, but ANYONE can do it. From 2 lines to 2 pages, the length makes no difference. The content needs to be relevant to only you – it is YOUR personal reflection, YOUR professional thinking, YOUR own way to vent, communicate, think, future plan, debate, discuss and record as the learning journey goes on.
To blog or not to blog? That’s easy, BLOG!
Your choices for blog spaces are huge but some that I have found to be most popular and easy to use are:
http://www.busythumbs.com/ text messages and phone photos
http://www.tumblr.com/ media rich blog host
http://www.wordcountjournal.com/ great for the kids to start with – one word on the first day, 2 words on the second day and so on!
If you want to see the full range, then check out: http://mashable.com/2007/08/06/free-blog-hosts/