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Last week we launched a year-long blogging series where educators blog together weekly around a common topic or theme.

Prompt #1 focused on My Blog story and it’s aim was to help participants get to know each other better.

This is a summary post of what we’ve learnt from everyone’s stories!  You’ll find links to every My Blog Story at the bottom of the post.

Blogging Challenges

There are lots of barriers that keep us from blogging and the ones shared with us included:

  • Time challenges….balancing work commitments with family and personal life.
  • Blogging and sharing online makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • Desire for perfection.
  • Fear I have nothing worth saying.
  • Unsure of what to write about.
  • Struggle to decide the direction I would like to take my blog.  What to share?
  • What do I have to offer?  There are so many excellent educator blogs.
  • Fear nobody will be interested in what I say.
  • My ignorance will be exposed.
  • I struggle writing and worry it won’t have the character, charm or voice I often see in popular educator’s blogs.

Benefits of Blogging

Yet benefits absolutely outweigh the challenges and the ones shared included:

  • Blogging helps reflect — and reflecting on teaching practices is one of the best ways to improve.
  • Changes how I learn.
  • I developed a personal learning network — connecting with other educators that help and support my learning.
  • Helped me become a better writer.
  • Gave me a voice and mechanism to share my thoughts and help others.
  • Can lead to career opportunities including travel, authoring books, conference presentations and new job roles.
  • Blogging has helped me define myself and has encouraged me to to believe my voice matters.
  • Sharing what we were learning in class with families made it a more transparent classroom which improved communication, awareness and overall student success.
  • Students benefited from informal writing on their blogs and exchanging comments.  While I was able to work through all aspect of digital citizenship as part of the blogging process.

Blogging Goals

Goals for participating in the #EdublogsClub included:

  • Get into the habit of blogging consistently.
  • Improve my writing skills.
  • To become comfortable with putting my thoughts out there.
  • Create deeper connections with educators around the World.
  • Decide what I want to share and what’s important to me.
  • Help me clarify the purpose and audience of my blog.
  • Find my voice.
  • Engage in more conversations in comments with my readers.
  • To do and experience what I am asking my students to do when I ask them to blog.
  • Help me develop professionally and allow me to be better organized.
  • Find effective ways to keep up with reading other blogger’s posts.

Blogging Tips

And the more experienced bloggers shared their tips!

Below are quotes of our favorite tips or inspirational statements!

We couldn’t include all their tips so have linked to their name to their posts so you can check them out.

Justine Hughes

Just jump in and enjoy.  Don’t be afraid to share your ideas. You’ll find that everyone is really supportive and encouraging, particularly if they’ve joined a challenge such as this one.  You’ll be surprised by the feedback and conversations and connections that develop.  Don’t feel that it has to be an ‘academic standard’ essay-type exercise.  Think of it more as a conversation with other like minds. 🙂

Jo Prestia

I’m proud to say I have a little following and every now and then I get feedback. However, I don’t write to get comments or praise (though it is nice!). I just write because I like it. It helps me think – in writing.

Michelle Pacansky-Brock

I have made mistakes. And I’ve learned from them. But I’m still here. I’m still blogging. And I’m still learning. And that is something I hope all educators strive to model for students.

Robert Schuetz

I started blogging with the hope of initiating some sort of revolutionary change in education. What I’ve learned is blogging is much more satisfying when I just write for myself.

Sue Wyatt

You need to become a connected educator for blogging to succeed. Read other people’s blogs, leave tweets about posts you have written, connect with other teachers who also blog.

Dan Gallagher

Keep blogging, even if you don’t believe someone is reading, because you never know who is or will be reading. I have on several occasions returned to past posts to recall what I did to setup a workflow or try to remember a tool I recommended a ways back which might help one of my teachers now.

Damianne President

The advice that I would give my younger self would be to blog regularly, and to engage with colleagues, the community of bloggers and with twitter chats for ideas to blog about.

 Lyn Hilt

My advice for new bloggers is to write for YOU. Don’t write for page views. Don’t write for RTs. Write to share your ideas, to reflect, to ponder. Write to unleash your creative spirit. Write to make a difference. Schedule time in your day to write. Write every day, something, somewhere. You don’t always have to click publish. Don’t be discouraged if you hit a lull or encounter writer’s block. I used to blog several times a month, and now I’m lucky if I blog several times a year. Life happens, responsibilities shift…. your blog is a space you can always call home and it will welcome you back with open arms when needed.

Luis

One of the fears of many bloggers: having posts with no comments. Most, if not, all bloggers have had blog posts that have not received a comment. Don’t let this be something that demotivates you. Most of those blog posts are still read by a lot of visitors. I’ve had a lot of blog posts that have not received comments but I know that they have been viewed by many visitors

Sue Waters

Make it a goal to read and comment on as many of the posts as possible.  You learn as much, if not more, by reading/commenting as writing your posts and it helps generate ideas for things to blog about.

And don’t forget — what is Obvious to you is amazing to others.  Don’t assume others know what you know.  There is always someone who will be grateful of what you shared — even if they don’t necessarily tell you.

Don’t Forget to Comment

Remember blogging is about connecting with others!

Visit the #EdublogsClub participant’s posts to leave feedback and comments on as many as you can.

We’ve included links to all My Blog Story submitted so far below to make it easier:

 

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About Sue Waters

Support manager for Edublogs and CampusPress. Follow me on Twitter @suewaters!

6 Comments

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  1. Hello,

    I am also a newcomer to the Edublog community. I can also relate to many of the challenges that you spoke of, but can also see many many of the benefits to using this type of resource. I think blogging would be a great tool for students to reflect and collaborate with peers. I appreciate the tips that you included, and also the stories of others. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hello Ma’m,
    I just joined the edublogs community and I can easily relate myself to the challenges you have mentioned, but then again the will to go forward is more powerful than the fear holding me back. Thanks to your inspiring words I hope I make myself stand up as a good blogger.
    Nikhil

  3. Hi Sue,

    I have just joined the edublogger community and I am looking forward to getting my blog up an running. As a first time blogger I can relate to many of the challenges that you mentioned above. However, at this point in my career I am becoming more and more interested in collaborating with teachers from around the globe. I believe you have created a great site here that offers teachers a strong community where their ideas and knowledge can be shared and developed. As you mentioned, there are a great deal of benefits from blogging including reflection. I feel that reflecting through my own blog posts and those of others will continually help me to improve as an educator.
    I am hoping to participate in many of the weekly blog challenges in order to become accustomed to the life of a blogger.
    I look forward to exploring the blogs that have already been posted on this site as well as contributing my own.

    Best,

    Liisa

  4. Sue,
    I truly enjoyed reading your post on the frustrations and benefits of blogging. One of the main benefits that I saw immediately was networking with other educators as you mentioned. I am not a huge fan of other forms of social media such as Twitter and Instagram, but I have and utilize these resources to connect and learn from other educators. Even if there is not a one on one communication taking place there is always something to learn and someone to learn from. Another great place to network with other educators that I have found is LinkedIn. Also, thank you very much for including the tips that you have collected on blogging. It certainly helps with motivation.

    • Brendan Ellsworth
  5. Hi Sue
    I have joined this group today, and I have read a couple of people’s posts but I haven’t posted anything – yet. I am hoping to write a post on Sunday. As you know I have been blogging for a long time, but VERY inconsistently. My primary purpose for blogging is to assist my students (1st year pre-service teachers) to learn about the different types of technologies they could use in their future classrooms. I am getting ready for semester 1 and thought this group & your prompt would help me write a bit more consistently 🙂
    Good to see you are still “The Edublogger” (with Ronnie).
    Best wishes, Jenni
    (memory jogger: Jenni Parker, ex Central Tafe, way back…hummm…way back…)

  6. Hello Sue,
    Your curation skills amaze me! Thank you for organizing and sharing these perspectives about blogging. There is a wealth of information here. I’m proud to be connecting and learning with this #edublogsclub.
    Thanks again,
    Bob

    • Robert Schuetz