17 Comments

  1. Robert Huxley

    Ouch!
    You have described my arguments against blogging far too well. I may not start blogging, but I have started to think about it. Thanks for the “poke”!

  2. I’m back in the echo chamber with you George. Agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed by you and Dean regarding blogging and how it impacts personal learning. I have long considered blogs as the ideal platform for a professional portfolios. You, Helen Barrett, and Leigh Zeitz have validated my thoughts about this. Sharing my learning transparently has deepened, and widened, my thinking on many subjects. Blogging has ignited many meaningful relationships, and afforded me several opportunities to travel and meet valued members of my PLN face-to-face. To me, blogging packs the power of Twitter, but with more depth. Like most educators, I take pride in being a practitioner of lifelong learning. I am not sure how you digitally record and share lifelong learning without a blog?!? Thank you for continuing to shine a light on socially networked learning. Bob

  3. I can see your arguments and get them. I am trying to set up a blog, but which blog site is easy to use, has fun functionality, and doesn’t have a lot of tech issues? My site at http://msshelleyliberty.blog.com/ suffers from 504 errors ALL the time and is not easy to upload pics! So I have not revisited it to add all the other entries I would love to add! What do you use?

    • George

      Hey Michele,

      I use wordpress but I self-host. You could also use something like edublogs.org or wordpress.com if that helps :)

  4. Lloyd Mahoney

    Just started working within a Digital Leaders Network. All of us enthusiastic users of technology in our schools. All offered versions of points 1-4 explaining why we didn’t blog. All of us completely sold on the potential benefits within the classroom and around the world by lunchtime! I’ll be pointing all members of the network (#wkdigiedu) to this really useful post to help us appreciate how exciting this can be. It’ll give us all a lift.
    Thanks George!

  5. I have found blogging cathartic and a whole lot of fun. I totally agree with what you have said in your post as that sounds like me before I started doing it. I wanted to remember the ridiculous, funny moments that had led me through a decade of teaching and also try to help other teachers – especially PGCE students – in case they needed it. If you fancy a very light, funny look at experiences in the British education system then feel free to check out:

    http://lovelanguageloveliterature.com/tag/teaching/

  6. Hey Pal,

    First, just stopping by to say hello. Was thinking about you this morning.

    Second, I’d love to hear your take on blog commenting.

    My guess is that the “no one wants to hear what I have to say” and “blogging is useless” comments come as a result of the sense that when you first start blogging, nobody’s listening. Blogging really is a lot of work. It does take a lot of time. And it can feel pretty darn risky to make yourself vulnerable in front of the world. When you get the sense that no one is listening anyway, it makes it easy to quit.

    I’ve been pretty saddened by blog commenting in the last few years — really since Twitter exploded — because hardly anyone leaves comments anywhere anymore. Instead, we find a good post and share it as a way of respecting the author and celebrating the content.

    But that destroys community because it takes away an interaction between a reader and an author. A comment is a gift. It’s a way to strengthen a relationship. It’s a way of saying thank you. And it is a tangible reminder for authors that people ARE listening so their writing DOES matter.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is convincing people to blog in today’s world is even harder than it was 10 years ago when the comment sections of blog posts were far more vibrant and active than they are today. That’s a cultural norm that is worth protecting if we want blogs to be places of reflection and community instead of digital magazines where authors talk to readers, isn’t it?

    Rock right on,
    Bill

    • George

      Hey Bill…great question. I personally don’t comment on blogs unless I disagree or I have something new to add to the conversation. Admittedly, I don’t respond to comments on my own blog unless people are asking for help or challenging the idea and I have something to offer back. I also try to comment on someone new (to me) to help them get through the REALLY tough start of blogging. It is tough to start off when you think no one is listening.

      I also wonder if people are more happy with “hits” than they are with “conversation” (including myself). Do I write stuff that provokes questions or not?

      Thanks for the push buddy. I NEVER miss any comments on my blog and I really appreciate your thoughts every Saturday :)

    • Bill, I stumbled on this reply you made here to George from the blog post picked up on Chad Lehman’s Twitter feed…not important, just interesting… HA HA…

      What you said about comments not really getting off the ground these days with any real interaction really resonated with me… In the past I have taken a significant amount of time to post a meaningful comment (although I must admit, probably less than a dozen times) to rarely, if ever, receive a reply from the author. I know we are all very busy and it could take a while to click on the post and create a reply but I do think it would be nice if we all acknowledged each other’s replies when possible, especially if the comment being left is one of the length and substance, even if it’s something like “thanks for your thoughtful comment on my blog” so the commenter can know that the author saw the comment. If a blog author does not want to have interaction with the audience, then perhaps the comments section can be removed.

      Finally, when we talk about risk taking in writing a blog, that’s only half the story…it is also seen as a big risk to post replies and comments to blog posts…I know many people that do not feel they can put their words or thoughts together sufficiently to make blog post replies because they second guess themselves and are afraid to take a risk…..Ok I guess that’s it…there is no real ending to this thought!
      Thanks!
      sue

  7. Hi George,
    Your post couldn’t be more timely. I’m co-teaching a college course to pre-service teachers on Education and Technology. This week’s topic is the power of a PLN and taking some steps to start creating one. For part of this lesson, the prof that I’m taking over from had students create a personal website as a digital portfolio. That’s great for them to have, but I really believe that blogging is a more ‘PLN’ type activity and sooo important for building a network. I was struggling to decide whether to go ahead with having them create a blog as part of the class, and your blog reassured me that it’s definitely the right seed to plant in new educators. To help get them hooked, we’ll use the blog as an ‘exit’ slip type activity for the rest of the course, and have them comment on each other’s perspectives.
    Good timing!
    Cammie

  8. Tracy Zordan

    Hi George,
    There are another couple of reasons that I think that I might add to your list.

    – When teachers begin diving into the tech pool there is so much to consider & learn that one has to choose areas to focus on. As time goes on & the learning increases, then you feel you can branch out to try other things. Having only jumped in a year & a half ago I feel I had to choose a few things to focus on because if I think about all that I want to do I get overwhelmed. Last year I thought ” My friend blogs & does it with one of his classes, and that’s great. I’m going to try to work on SAMR and focus on a handful of specific apps (not that he isnt). Oh yeah, and then there’s Twitter, and a website for my classes, and Google drive, and managing the department set of iPads, and….” So I make choices, and blogging hasn’t been something I have tried my hand at, yet. How would I change this type of person’s mind? Not sure yet – I guess if I did I’d be blogging already!

    – Something that we may not want to admit so readily – perhaps not all teachers reflect. Or maybe, don’t reflect more than superficially. Or maybe they do reflect, but not openly. I will admit that I don’t always put in the reflection time that I would like, or should do, for whatever reason – time, focus, avoidance, procrastination – the list could go on. Most often when I do, it is in conversation and sometimes now through Twitter as well – not in a journal, not in a blog, not really in writing.

    In closing I’d like to say thanks for putting this out there. It has gotten me to comment on a blog for the first time, instead of just having an internal conversation, or retweeting or favoriting (as Bill mentioned).

    Oh man, I guess now I’d better move blogging up on my to do list & find that title that speaks to me. Curse you George (and Dean)! (In a good, non-threatening kind of way, that is.)
    Maybe I do have something to say…… once in a while!

  9. […] I’m co-teaching a college course to pre-service teachers on Education and Technology. This week’s topic is the Power of a Personal Learning Network and taking some steps to start creating one. For part of this lesson, the prof that I’m taking over from had students create a personal website as a digital portfolio. A website is great for them to have, but I really believe that blogging is a more ‘PLN’ type activity and soooo important for building a network. It’s so much more interactive than a website about oneself. I was struggling to decide whether to go ahead with having them create a blog as part of the class, and then I came across this blog post from George Couros, a respected Canadian voice on technology in education:  4 Reasons People Don’t Blog and Ideas to Change Their Minds […]

  10. I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you spend a lot of time writing, i
    know how to save you a lot of work, there is an online tool that creates high
    quality, google friendly articles in seconds, just search in google – laranitas free content source

  11. Thank you, I have recently been looking for info approximately this subject for a while and yours is the
    greatest I’ve came upon so far. But, what in regards to the
    bottom line? Are you positive in regards to the supply?

Comments are closed.