1. Robert Schuetz

    Because of you, Tom Whitby, Shelley Wright, Justin Tarte, Steve Wheeler, and many others – I have a blog. Here is my recent post highlighting my three favorite reasons to blog; http://goo.gl/5j0rBi
    My favorite post on the subject is Steve Wheeler’s, “Blogging as Conversation”; http://goo.gl/G74erD Today I asked him what has made the biggest impact on his personal brand? He quickly replied, his blog. And many connected educators, including myself, agree.
    In response to your questions. Blogging has made me a better educator by providing a platform for transparent reflection. The authentic audience forces deeper thinking and a thorough investigating of information. Blogging helps crystalize my learning and it provides opportunities for deeper reciprocal conversations. As Sue Waters says, “Blogs give learners a voice.”
    Story telling, as you know, is at the very core of how knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation. Who is telling your story? I propose that every living person should have a blog – if for no other reason than to document and share their stories. Thanks George – I hope that more people will choose to connect rather than isolate.

  2. zecool

    This post resonates a lot with me, for two very different reasons.

    1. Personally, I have gained (as in ‘learned’) so much since I’ve been blogging (for 10 years now) and through other social media, mainly via Twitter. It is a reflective practice that forces me to articulate my thoughts (just as I’m doing here commenting) and I just ‘know’ that what I write, most of the time, is read and can resonate in other people’s mind. But basically, I do it for myself first. It has helped me immensely in fine-tuning my ideas on education and edu tech. The ROI gained: the rich connections to passionate folks, who challenge and nourish my thoughts on how we can make education even better. Bottom-line, having an audience HAS clarified my learning.

    2. I have colleagues who do great things in education. They keep pushing the limits and have a genuine love for the kids and passion for continuous learning. Truly professionals. However, some tell me that they don’t feel the need to share with a large audience what it is they are doing. They would rather do this in more closed circles, their own community of practice where learning happens together. Just not out there for all to see/read. But they lurk. A lot. For their own reflective process. Their bottom-line: students are the first benificiaries of what they do, and continuous learning is a constant issue with them.

    Does this come down to extravert vs. introvert ? Still juggling with this.

  3. macduude

    As we say to our students about journaling, having to put your thoughts in writing forces you to clarify. Doing so in a reflective manner not only makes you clarify but examine and evaluate. Further, doing so in front of your peers takes courage and a willingness to be challenged or corrected. Here’s to the reflective bloggers, in education.

  4. Mark Gleeson

    When I started blogging early last year, I wasn’t sure where it would take me. It didn’t take long though to have a huge impact on me as an educator. Reflecting on my true beliefs as an educator in a forum in which I had control ( which rarely happens in a staff meeting!) really clarified what I wanted to do as a teacher. Sharing my thoughts and ideas with a real audience who wanted to engage with me and come back to read what I had to say has continued to inspire me to investigate new ideas and consolidate and streamline my own. I wish more in my teaching circles would the same. When I hit the 100 post mark, I reflected on my journey in this Storify post.
    You may or may not find it interesting.

  5. Jennifer Carey

    This is such a great topic! I think you are right. Even if we are all scheduled to the T, we can reach out (at least virtually).

    To answer your question – yes I do have a blog that I (try) to update regularly. It serves as a sounding board for my own thoughts, a “critical friend” for an assignment, and a means for me to be involved in the broader educational community. I get a lot when I post a lesson plan and other educators ask questions or point me to new resources. It also gives me time to reflect. Sometimes I look back over an assignment and think, “What? That doesn’t work. Why didn’t I try this?”

    It also gives me a place to model for students. This is what connecting on line can look like. This is why it’s powerful. This is why it’s constructive.

  6. Lissa Layman

    I wrote my first blog post 2 years and 1 month ago. I started my blog solely as a place to reflect professionally as I started my 2nd year teaching. I was starting to integrate more technology into my lessons and wanted an organized place to go back and look at what I’d done and how it went. In the last 2 years I’ve added 2 other blogs: a personal blog (for our experiences teaching internationally) and a blog for COETAIL.

    Blogging has come to mean more to me than I could have ever expected! Besides professional reflections, blogging has allowed me to keep in touch with friends, bounce my ideas off other educators, request input on a variety of topics and so much more. I have grown tremendously as an educator and a person because being connected has taught me how to reflect, take constructive criticism and continually learn. Although I don’t always have the time in the day (week, month) to blog, it always feels comfortable to go back. When I do make the time to blog it leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next challenge!

  7. Leah Obach

    Thanks for the validating post – I knew it must be good for me to blog…

    I have a blog and the more priority I give it, the better. It serves a variety of purposes and it grows as I blog more and become a better blogger. My Grade 1 students know they can ask to share their learning on my blog and we often post together to share classroom learning. I use personally it for reflection, communication and sharing ideas.

    To those discouraged or not started yet – try it, keep at it, it will be a positive thing in the long run!

  8. Anthony Edwards

    I can see real value in blogging.

    Following your presentation at our 21st Century Learning conference in August. I am happy to say that 90% of the schools under my supervision have adopted Twitter as a communication tool. This represents a dramatic change in direction for myself as well as most of my schools.

    Blogging, however, is more involved. It’s potential to deprivatize the “laminated lesson plan” and inspire a fresh, open and transparent practice is something I can’t mandate if it is going to evolve into an effective tool. To gain traction I suspect that the best way that I can provide leadership would be to monitor the handful of teachers that I know are blogging. Once I can identify a small group of teachers who are active in blogging I will nurture, encourage, support and promote their work as pioneers. I will then use that opportunity to enable other teachers to learn from the natural leaders and will jump on board myself, because I too have much to learn.

    Although I am really using your blog to think aloud, I would certainly welcome the thoughts of anyone who can appreciate the challenges of introducing change. Thanks for the forum.

  9. […] I had “ok” support from my staff, but not nearly as many people as I thought joined up and got active. I heard from many folks in my PLN who said, “keep fighting the good fight”, and “you can only lead a horse to water”. I agreed for the most part. It is the educators decision to connect or not, especially in today’s age. As my friend George Couros has said: “Isolation is now a choice educators make.” […]

  10. Matt Renwick

    Nice post George. Sorry I missed this 10 months ago; thanks for tweeting it out again. Blogging has been described as a learner’s “personal pensieve”, alluding to Dumbledore’s actual pensieve for saving memories in the Harry Potter series. As educators, we can go back into our writing and find evidence of our growth and learning. The feedback I gain in the comments is invaluable.

    Thanks for encouraging this conversation! -Matt

Comments are closed.