In class this evening, several folks had questions about the use of all the different technology tools we’ve been provided in class. I thought it was an appropriate discussion, but one that wasn’t ultimately resolved.
I heard more than one of my colleagues question the legitimacy of blogging as a reflective tool. Some wondered if it was going to be formally graded. Others had concern about the posts being public, and there was question about how open to be in… the open of the Internet. I wasn’t paying enough attention of who said what, but I loved this line, that I’ll paraphrase:
> If I Google my name now, there it is, my WordPress blog…
And isn’t that how blogs were introduced? What’s online about you, professionally?
I got the feeling some in our class had little interest in dialoging online professionally, and it was expressed in the context of comfort and preference. That will always be the case with any communications medium. Your preferences (informed through your comfort and experience) will dictate the media by which you communicate. The question is, for the designer(s) of the instruction, “Should students be moved out of their comfort zone in order to learn?” And if so, what is to be gained?
The wrinkle is that there is a lot of progressive, good content now being generated online by very smart educators. Not all is good, for sure, and not all of it you’ll even agree with, when it’s good. But I don’t think the 21st century educator can ignore the conversations taking place online today.
I approach this somewhat differently, because I enjoy writing and I’ve been writing online since 1997. The good news is – yes, you can write and not get yourself into trouble (not to say I haven’t done that). Transparency can be very authentically scary for some folks, and I think blogging can still play a role in our development. Some will adjust to more transparency, and yes, you will have to be both pragmatic and political in how you communicate.
Some folks have asked for good examples of educational blogs. I thought I’d share a few I enjoy reading, from time to time.
But starting out the most important thing to consider is your audience… my guess is this blog is for your audience, whom ever that is… and not as a personal reflection (for yourself). The audience may include future employer(s), colleagues both close and far, and it might be the start of some serious networking. Need another example? Check out these “connected principals” who are an inspiring group of active principals/bloggers.