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Blogs

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Beginning Blogging

 

Perhaps you are thinking about starting a blog. What can you expect if you decide to begin blogging, or even reading posts from an aggregator? Here are some basics that you should be aware of.

 

First of all, what is a blog?

 

A blog is short for Webblog.  Basically, it is a platform for personal publishing.  It's a place to have your say, a place to join in on the greatest conversation ever held.

 

Blogs support the fundamental literacy of writing.  So why do we want to have kids blog?  Read 3rd grader Anna, from Seattle, Washington, in her post Blog.

 

 

Conversation is the king of the blogosphere. On and on....and on. And it can get frustrating and tiresome at times, and just when you get fed up, you see something great, and you get pulled back in and realize what you are doing this for, and the potential it has for changing what you are and how you approach what you do.

 

Establish your own personal network with those you feel comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to leave someone out of your aggregator just because everyone else has them in theirs. And realize that your collection of bloggers and resources will grow, and will get out of hand, but you’ll adjust. Your aggregator will be fluid and dynamic, just like the conversation.

 

With that in mind, seek your own level-with the number of times you post, the amount of time you spend with your aggregator, and the time you spend commenting. Some bloggers post four to five times a day, others post once a week. Do what you feel comfortable with-there are really no rules when it comes to the frequency of posting.  For example, I have a tendancy to go on streaks when I'm very productive; other times I can't think of a single thing to say.

 

 

And speaking of rules? The big one now? It’s transparency-exactly why are you blogging? What biases do you bring to your blogging plate? Tell people what they are, and then have your say. It’s called full disclosure. But blog for your own reasons, whatever they may be. And don’t let anyone else tell you that your motives are wrong.

 

So be ready for writing at its most challenging. Writing in a blog is the most authentic writing experience there is. What will you do to write yourself into existence? Think very carefully about the arguments you make, the points you defend, because your blog is about you and what you think and your writing may and will be read by people all over the world who may passionately disagree with you. As Miguel Guhlin has said, how does blogging enable you to live your life wide open?

 

Realize that there are people that are smarter than you-in fact, way smarter. Don’t be intimidated by that. Challenge yourself to make sense and contribute.

 

Have your say, and then get ready. Stand straight and with conviction. Don’t be bullied, but stay professional. Publish the comments you receive to continue the dialogue. Get a thick skin. People will disagree with you.

 

Let others know what works, especially if you are a classroom teacher. There’s not enough teachers blogging, and certainly not enough posts on classroom strategies and techniques that make a difference for student learning. Sure, that’s not sexy as some topics, but it is what is most necessary, what is most needed.

 

Comment early and often. Comments are just as important as posts and another way to contribute.

 

Probably the best advice is offered by Christian Long, contained in a comment on one of my posts:

 

Write often. Write passionately. Link often. Link passionately. And don't worry who shows up.

 

Outstanding Blog Resources:

 

CLTNet Blogs Wikis Podcasts

Teach Digital | Blogs by Wes Fryer  and Wes'  del.icio.us tag for classroom blogging

7 Things You Should Know about Blogging | Educause

Blogging in Education | David Warlick

List of Educational Bloggers | support blogging

10 Reasons to Blog and Not Blog | Tony Karrer

Rationale for Educational Blogging | Anne Davis

20 Types of Blog Posts | Problogger

 

 

 

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