Today’s session — an introduction to blogging — I was invited to share tips on blogging which I decided to expand on a couple of tips by following up with this post.
About Open PD
Open PD is an open staff development course that any teacher, administrator, or technology specialist can join to learn more about the many free, online tools that can be used to enhance your teaching.
Classes are held once weekly, in five week blocks, with the global participants joining the face-to face participants in Utah, USA using Skype, Ustream and the Open PD wiki. I, like many others, throughly enjoy, and gain so much, from joining these weekly sessions.
The most important aspect of blogging, and where the true learning happens, is in the conversations. Always keep sight on how to achieve this conversation!
Conversations happens when you write a reflective post that invites / encourages / evokes readers to express their opinion:
- Readers post their comments in response
- You respond back with your own comments to your readers comments
- If your post, or the comments, invokes sufficient emotion readers expand on their responses in their own post, which will link back to your original post
- And you may follow up your original post with what you have learned from the comments and other posts
Sue Wyatt’s Creating a classroom blog is a classic example of the importance of blogging as a conversation. Sue has just started out blogging and asked for help working out how to blog with students. After reading her post I asked:
- my twitter network to share their tips which they posted in her comments
- Al Upton to share his tips on blogging with students – which he did in Class blogs – management, moderation and protection and Class blogs – personalise your blog, a sequence of settings
- wrote my own post on tips for blogging with students
Blogging conversation like these are powerful because you are drawing from a diverse range of people, from various backgrounds, with a variety of experiences. Each individual shares their differing perceptive leading to greater gain and innovation by all involved.
My personal recommendation is for educators to first start out blogging for themselves; so they gain an understanding of how important these conversations are for the learning process.
Tip #2 – You Are Building a Community
Can’t take credit for this tip! Oops, I had forgotten to talk about the significant of community building in blogging – thankfully Jamie Gustin reminded me.
Conversations happen when you take the time to build a sense of Community. Readers will go out of their way to help and assist you; if they feel part of your community.
Make time to:
- Engage with your readers on your own blog; post comments in response to theirs to show you value their input.
- Visit and comment on other people’s blogs. Blogging isn’t about staying home; it’s about visiting others, engaging in their conversations and taking the time to help them with their learning. Showing you care about others means they are more likely to take the time to help you.
I’m very effective at managing my comments on other people blogs using co.mment — which tracks my comments, and notifies me automatically by sending the comment to my Google Reader account. This way when a person comments on a post that I have commented on I can choose to immediately respond back if I want.
The next series of Open PD session start in 2 weeks (5 March) and is available to any one who wants to attend; contact Robin or Darren via the Open PD wiki for more information.
What tips and advice would you give educators who are new to blogging? How do you explain the value of blogging?
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