Blogs are powerful communication tools. Blogs are powerful publishing tools. But blogging is still much more than that. Blogging, as in reading and thinking and reflecting and then writing, is connecting and learning.
1. It's a great way to communicate with parents. An important benefit of this medium is communicating and interacting with those members of the community who we sometimes have a tougher time reaching. In our case, that means parents and anyone in the community who is concerned about education. Several teachers in the district use blogs as online diaries of what is happening in their classes. Their blogs are windows through which parents can see (literally with updated photos nearly every day) what students are studying.
2. Professional development and networking, learning. Learning networks are comprised of people with whom you connect and share information; people you can turn to in an instant for ideas and answers to questions related to teaching and learning. Their value is in the constant development of information and ideas (whether your online or not) and your access to that information for a variety of reasons including the need for an instant solution to a problem or expertise related to longer term needs. The smarter, more connected teachers are... hopefully, the smarter, more connected students can become.
3. To blog is to teach yourself what you think. I saw this line in another blog, and I think it's true. Blogging is thinking, debating, writing, creating, editing, revising, publishing, and more. It's a process through which you can learn about people, places, and things but also about yourself. A blog provides an opportunity to develop an audience for sharing ideas and experiences. It's a way to establish a continuous conversation with a community of like-minds, providing a basis for interaction. For teachers, it can be a powerful way to continue life-long learning in their own lives and a great tool for teaching students about this process as well.
SAMPLE POST FROM MRS. DUNTON'S CLASS BLOG (John C. Webb Elementary)
Alliteration (Sept. 18, 2010)
Mrs. Dunton's Class (Leanne Dunton, John C. Webb Elementary)
Dunlap Daily Journal (Vici Dunlap, Intermediate School)
Camp Kindergarten News (Sylvia Harrison, John C. Webb Elementary)
One Book at a Time (Haven Wisnoski, John C. Webb Elementary)
Wild About Technology (Cindy Martin, John C. Webb Elementary)
Mrs. Bishop's Second Grade Class (John C. Webb Elementary)
Mrs. M's Fourth Grade Writing (Intermediate School)
Moreland's Math Buzz (Cara Moreland, Junior High School)
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