Why I blog and you should too!

Who will read your posts?

  • At first your readers will be just the people you tell about your blog. At first, my blog was only shared with teachers at my school. Then I thought, well if I am doing all this, why not let more people see it. So I started sharing the link in Facebook and with my teacher friends via email. At FETC2014, I entered the Twitterverse and began to share my blog posts with my PLN, through Chats, and with hashtags. The more you promote your blog, the more readers you will reach.
  • My platform, Edublogs, has also promoted my posts on a few occasions, as well as FETC and other conferences I have attended. I share my blog site at each conference presentation I give. Connecting with or writing about a specific company will often get you more attention and draw more readers to your blog.

What platform will you use to publish your blog?

  • I use www.edublogs.org as my hosting site. It is free, easy, and can be used on a computer, tablet, or phone.
  • Other options include Weebly, Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr. If you have GAFE, one of the Apps is Sites. You can use this to build a website where you post your blog. I suggest trying them out and finding what works best for you.

When will you publish at a certain day/time or as the mood strikes?  

  • There are educators who blog daily, like Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers. Vicki Davis, the brains behind Cool Cat Teacher, blogs several times a week. My husband and I agreed on once a week blog posts, if I wrote more I would never get anything else done! Now, every Monday I publish a blog post on my Monday Tech Minute Blog. I share a tool, an idea, or takeaways from conferences I have attended.
  • You can always write when the mood strikes and then schedule posts to publish when you want them live.

Where can I get more info on blogging?

  • If you would like ideas for blogging, search #tribeofbloggers on Twitter. This amazing group of educators are working together to help build blogging communities. There are also lists of educational bloggers to check out from WeAreTeachers, EducatorsTechnology, and of course the bloggers here at Imagine Easy.

Why should you blog?

  • When the blogging idea came around for me I was worried people would consider it bragging or showing off to tell what was going on in my classroom. I realized it is more about sharing my successes and failures with others so they can be inspired, build from my ideas, and in turn share their ideas with others.
  • Blogging helps you become a more reflective practioner of the teaching trade. Even if no one reads my blog I still would write it because I use it to better myself and my understanding of my teaching profession and technology integration.
  • Blogging expands your professional network. You connect with other teachers around the world and build your personal learning network. If someone has already created a how to guide, a rubric, or a lesson plan why should others have to do it again? Even if readers don’t use the products or ideas I share, they still get ideas to build on.   

How do I start?

  • If you aren’t sure about posting online, start with a notebook journal. Keep a list of things that worked and didn’t work.
  • Start with micro-blogging on Twitter. 140 characters keeps you on target with your message.
  • Find a group of people who will be your audience. Keep it small, write from the heart, and when are ready publish to the world.

 

One Word

I’ve been marinating on my one word the last few days. Words like learner, reflective, and flexible are all things I want to work on and be. But it just wasn’t enough. So here it is…my word: model. That is what I want to do and be this year.

I want to model innovation with my students and teachers. We are starting the year with a maker unit. I am scared and excited all at the same time. The unknown is huge, but the payoff could be even bigger. My students will have to be bold and fearless, and I will have to be supportive and a model of design thinking. For my teachers I want to model innovation through sharing what I am learning by blogging, on Twitter, and through my conferences.

I want to model fairness. My favorite saying is fair is a place where you eat fried Oreos and ride rides, it is not a state of being. So perhaps fairness isn’t the best term. I want to model fairness for students and teachers by giving everyone what they need when they need it. I have pushed some teachers more than others to use technology, present at conferences, and step out of their comfort zone. Others I have moved along more slowly. The same goes with my students. I push some students more in Accelerated Reader, class projects, and activities. I plan to continue pushing those who are ready, and pulling those who are not. I want to be more visible in that approach so students and teachers know what I am doing as see the difference between fairness and equality.

I want to model effectiveness. In my teaching, in my media center, and in my “other duties as assigned”. I want to work smarter, not harder. If it involves a technology tool, then I want to share that tool. If it involves grunt work, then I want to find the best way to do that.

Finally, I want to model happiness. I want to show my joy of learning, of life, and of growing as a professional. It is important for kids to see the joy you can get from reading, learning, and growing. Any time someone asks my mom how she is, she replies “teriifically,wonderfully, fine, thanks!” She says if you say it enough, you will believe it. I am going to model joy and happiness, even when I don’t feel it…until I do feel it!

So there is my word for 2016: model. What’s your word and why?