Monday, March 24, 2014

Moving Forward

Today when I got home from school I opened up Twitter in hopes to do some unwinding. The first post I came across was from Tom Whitby a well known blogger and founder of #Edchat. I had the privilege of siting next to him at MACUL this spring in a pre-conference session, he is a very inspiring man to listen to. His post was titled "Blogging: Who Should, and Why". This caught my attention right away. As a newbie to the blogging world I have been working for the past few weeks at getting other teachers and administrators on board to start up their own blogs. I am happy to report that I have had nothing but positive responses. This week I met with a few kindergarten and first grade teachers along with the principal and technology coach to get them started on grade level blogs. I was also brave enough to start a blog for all the administrators in the district to begin blogging good news reports. I will meet with each admin individually to show them how to make their first post. 

Like all things in education you wonder how this will really go. How many will buy in? Who will stick with it? How will this impact our students? Our parents? Our community?  Tom makes a great point about blogging "it takes an act of courage to publish that first blog". Getting teachers to understand the value in blogging is easy. It's getting them to actually do it and feel comfortable putting themselves and their students out there. More importantly if this is something our administrators want to see from our teachers they need to blog right along side them. 

I love that blogging not only teaches our students about reading and writing but it allows them to be reflective, thoughtful, and critical thinkers. We have a responsibility as educators to teach our students digital citizenship. Tom writes that we need to model for out students how to responsibly question, respond, and comment to blogs. We need to model learning and how to share ideas. 

Our parents and community become our audience. Parents, grandparents, and community members want to read and hear what their kids have to say. They want to know what our kids are learning in school. They want to know that their schools are safe and loving learning environments. In return we want parents and the community to comment on our blogs to encourage, question, and give direction.   

Tom sums it up best, "Since becoming a blogger, I view things differently. I question things more. I try to understand things well enough, so that I can explain them simply. Most importantly I have been recognized as a person to be taken seriously, because I have a voice. These are things I wish for everyone to experience. What good is education, if we do not have a voice to share what we have learned in order to benefit all?"

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