Connected Educators A to Z: B is for Blogging

For my A- Z series on Empowering the Connected Educator B is for Blogging. When Tim Burners Lee created the first web site 21 years ago today, it was done with the purpose of sharing information. It was a helping role to aid physicians in communicating and answering questions. From it’s inception, and even before the social web, the creators intent was to also teach others how they could create their own webpages. Once launched, a whole new world began to grow – The World wide Web.

Here we are just 21 years later. We have come of age. We publish online easily and with intent. Blogging or ‘webblog’ is defined as an online journal. It is easy. It is fun. It can make a positive difference to both those who create blogs and those who read them.

You have heard that blogging is a new and effective way for learning to take place. You think that student blogging holds promise. You hear about teacher blogging but have also heard about it in a very negative light. How can leaders empower those around them to take advantage of blogging to enhance learning?

 Address Policies

Be sure to address blogging in policy. Teachers and students need to have a clear understanding of the guidelines that are in place. Where needed, teachers will need to obtain permissions for students to blog.

View Sample Student Projects

 

Try the Top Blogging Tools

  • Edublogs – Blogging Platform geared towards educators, students
  • Kidblogs – Safe, easy to use platform for students
  • Blogger – Google’s blog platform, flexible and simple to use
  • WordPress – Standard and versatile platform
  • Google Reader  Reading Blogs
  • Feedly – Read Blogs Browser Add on to Mozilla, Chrome
  • Mobile Blog Reading from Tablet , iPad (PulseGoogle ReaderMobile RSS)
  • Blogs to Follow – List from Ed-Tech 50

 

In a recent webinar on 21st Century leadership, Scott Floyd, Technology Curriculum Specialist explains their process and it’s success.

‘We allow teachers and students to have as many blogs as they like. Learning blogs, personal learning blogs, hobby blogs and more. What is good is that we started with personal use and moved to professional use. Teachers could see how they could use them for personal use and then were able to integrate those technologies into professional use. Once teachers became comfortable it was easier for them to implement them with students.’

 

How are you blogging as a teacher or school administrator? What student projects can you share?

Connected Educators A to Z: A is for Aspire

Many think that opening the doors of your classroom can be a key to making your students shine. What do you think?

On August 1st, the US Department of Education kicked off Connected Educator month, As Karen Cator states, ‘our ability to share approaches and explore new opportunities is essential to transforming education and improving student learning’.

For the month, I’ll be doing a A to Z series focusing on Empowering the Connected Educator.

A is for Aspire.

Why Makes Educators Aspire to Connect?

They read, blog, tweet, chat and skype. They connect with others around the globe using the latest Web 2.0 tools. They form twitter chats and conduct teacher sponsored edcamp professional development. Much of this is done on their own time for no pay. They want to make their classroom alive with ideas. They want to make sense of the rapidly changing technologies at hand and find ways to use them for student success. They find grades partner and colleagues online and make meaningful learning occur for both themselves and for their students.

I like how Maureen Devlin said it when I asked the question on twitter –

 

 

 

 

How Can School Leaders Empower Teachers?

During Connected Educator Month, educators everywhere are discussing best practices and collaborating online. They are talking about what it means to be a connected educator.

  1. Share the Connected Educator resources with faculty and colleagues.
  2. Join in! Explore the calendar and follow it on twitter at #ce12. Connecting with others allows us to learn and grow.
  3. Read about the impact that connected educators are having such as noted by Jeff Goldstein and here on TechConnects
  4. Aspire to be a connected leader who encourages and equips learners with all they need

I am passionate about innovative learning and empowering today’s leaders. In my work as a Technology Specialist and a K-12 district Technology Director, I have seen collaborative teamwork provide essential support to educators seeking to achieve the best for their students. As connected educators aspire with passion to bring the best of today’s learning into their classrooms they will tell you that they see real and true benefits to their own practice.  As they aspire for professional excellence in building their connections, it is our students who stand to benefit the most.