1. This is a terrific idea! I am impressed with how much writing you get done while attending a conference. ASCD has inspired several bogging topics. Now I just need to sacrifice some sleep to get them written.

  2. I was trying to do something similar (book club) with my staff and I discovered SubText and app that lets me blog and read collaboratively with everyone at the same time. We are reading a book together using this app and it is really an amazingly collaborative and creative experience. If you have an ipad you should check it out. Just like kids they are engaged and excited to read our book selection because it is so interactive and authentic.

    • Holly, I heard about SubText and thought it sounded great. I’m glad to hear from someone who has used it. I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

  3. Jon David Groff

    Point number 3 really touched home for me. Sometimes I don’t like it when I feel others have a specific agenda they expect me to pick up without question, and I certainly don’t like it when others view that I have an agenda when I initiate a learning activity. A blog study could truly let others know that the desire is for learning and conversing rather than for seeking to fulfill a predetermined agenda. Real learning comes from conversation with others; ideas mature through discussion.

  4. Jon David Groff

    I am an senior high ELA coach with Peace Wapiti School Div. 76. I would be very interested if anyone knew of some good blogs that might relate to my subject area, and meet George’s criteria of an author who updates regularly.

  5. You have listed so many great reasons to give this a try. I would love to give this a try at my school. I’ll let you know if we get it going.

  6. Patrica Hewitt

    This is a terrific idea! I especially thought the point in #1 would resonate with busy teachers who are genuinely interested but feel rather busy already. I also think the power of reading blogs (and tweets) of educators who put into practice what they say would be motivating. Finding bloggers who share common experiences for different groups in one’s school (prim/elem/HS) or have shared interests (e.g. science, D5, PBL) would be a powerful example of what connecting can be about. I am certainly going to suggest a blog study for our school!

  7. While I value blogs and read them regularly, I was at first wary of this post. My wariness comes from the personal experience of reading far fewer books than I used to, now that I spend more of my time reading blogs and other online content. Therefore, I find myself needing more external motivation to change my patterns and read a book — as opposed to needing that external motivation to read a blog. Again, I want to emphasize how much I value blogs (and other short online content), but I really do believe that the extra time and research that goes into writing books often results in a deeper level of ideas being communicated.

    All of that said, I understand that point of this post wasn’t to say “stop reading books,” rather it was to highlight the very valid benefits of incorporating blogs into professional development opportunities for teachers. And points numbers 3 and 4 (learn as you go with staff, and actual interactions with the author) struck me as exceptionally powerful advantages that blogs offer.

  8. I’m in love with this idea, and will suggest it to my admin, particularly for next year. A Google doc would allow lots of collaborative feedback, or even something like padlet. And it might stop people looking at me like I have 6 heads when I talk about something I read in a blog :)

  9. Heaven Ball

    I so agree that blogging can be less time consuming than a book study but it has to be done correctly. Blogging can become very time consuming if you try to read everything the educator writes on their blog. I see the potential for blogs increasing learning and discussion about multiple pertinent topics that our schools PLC groups could discuss.

  10. We’d actually used a blog for a book study, so it is a little different format than what you’ve suggested. I did like that even though the study was with all teachers from my school, their interaction took on a different tone and they were able to personalize their experience based on when and where they read and wrote. Some teachers who wouldn’t have been able to participate due to home comittments were able to dig into this after kids were in bed or over morning coffee. While it is true that I chose the book (We Used Steven Layne’s Igniting a Passion for Reading.), I tried to post in a way that wasn’t too limiting. I also liked that I could create other lists of links, such as resources for matching kids with books or author lists all in one space. I’d done this a couple of years before starting on social media, and that coupled with your ideas sure give me some things to think about.

    Looking back to your first point above, I think it would even be interesting to do a study of video clips (even interviews & TED talks) and kicking off dialogue from there. So many cool ideas. Thanks, George.

  11. Great idea George! Thanks for this. We have a small ‘tribe’ of learning leaders at our school and I am looking for a way to engage them in using Twitter and eventually creating a school BLOG. A Blog study may be a way to do both.

  12. Tom Whitford

    George, it has been a while since out chat at #ASCD13 and I can’t recall if I shared with you via twitter, that I actually went back and tried this out with my staff. It went amazingly well. I shared out 1 post each week via a link in my weekly update for staff. Then I created a shared Google Doc with my staff. Many of the teachers joined the document and shared their reflections from the post. Each week I shared a new post from a different educator, and each week I received back more and more reflective feedback from my staff. It was great!! I was able to get better insights into their thinking on a variety of subject matter and I think we all learned a few things. Thanks again for this suggestion. I look forward to continuing this practice.

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