Since writing my last blogs post titled We are Blogging…Now What? Stepping it Up!, my train of thought has turned towards creating a guide for teachers, new to blogging WITH their students. Blogging with students is a process, not an end in itself! In order for a teacher to facilitate and mentor his/her students in blogging, he/she has to have a clear understanding how blogging can enhance and benefit the learning process. That thought has taken me to focus on:
Teachers learning about blogging FOR their students!
- How could I make it easier for teachers to learn about the process of teaching and learning with blogs?
- How can blogging enhance student learning?
- What are components of QUALITY blogs?
- How can I guide teachers in experiencing a shift in teaching and learning and help them make a pedagogical commitment to blogging.
As an educator who reads a wide range of blogs, I really endorse the importance of this strategy as a way to develop insight and understanding of quality blogging. However as a novice blogger, I am realizing the importance of being selective about the range of blogs I read in order to get the greatest advantage from the reading I have time to do. You have prompted me to think about what I find most engaging and what makes me want to continue to follow a blog. Thank you Silvia!
Considering my own experience, and how it will inform my writing in the future, has started me thinking about the range of teachers I work with and what this will mean for them. There are those that would find these guidelines a helpful addition to what is, for them, a natural process. But for others who are not so familiar or confident with blogging there may be a need for further scaffolding.
There is such an expanse of material out there and it would be very easy for over worked teachers to feel swamped with the vast array of difference. To guide teachers it might be helpful to suggest choosing a strand (theme/focus) and a number of blogs to follow over a period of time……perhaps 4 different blogs. They can then really get a sense of what they identify as quality and how this might inform their blog writing and their strategies to gauging and guiding quality student blogs.
As teachers develop the confidence in managing time to read and review their (4) selected blogs there will be a natural extension to reading other blogs. The increased range of blogs read will become self perpetuating.
Perhaps with this deliberate scaffolding we can help a wider range of teachers gain confidence. This increased confidence will lead them to discover the rich opportunities for blogging to replace the more traditional forms used to apply skills and content knowledge.
Thanks to Chic for pushing my thinking further and to dig deeper in order to help educators who are just starting out in their journey of using blogs as a platform for LEARNING.
You can help too, by contributing links to quality blogs for a variety of grade level and subject areas that can provide a solid start for “novice blogging” teachers to learn from. You can fill out this form as many times as you wish.
The document with the contributions is available to everyone.