To begin exploring the world of blogging, I decided to take a closer look at educator blogs to see what all the hype was about. I found three blogs that interested me off the bat with either the title or topic of the blog.
The first of three, Upside Down Education (http://upsidedown.edublogs.org/), intrigued me with the title. After reading a few posts I quickly became familiar and friendly with the author and her style of writing. I like how raw this blog is. She posts about really anything related to education that strikes her. She talks about the use of cell phones and technology vs. socioeconomic classes and availability(http://upsidedown.edublogs.org/2013/05/12/going-mobile/), knowing where your focus should be in the classroom, and her opinions on curriculum. The blog is heavy on the authors opinions and does display some grammatical errors/spelling errors which is kind of ironic because it is about education.
The second blog I checked out was Classroom Chronicles (http://www.classroomchronicles.net/). This blog consisted mostly of posts on programs and activities involving students and teachers. I enjoyed reading about the different programs and all the ways to incorporate sharing the ideas with others. One program talked about “passion projects” as a part of homework. These were ways to get students to reach their own goals that they were passionate about while incorporating the curriculum. For instance, one child may want to learn how to bake a cake. This would involved mathematics in the form of measurements. The students had a class blog where teachers could read about their progress, what they needed to do to reach their goals, etc. (http://www.classroomchronicles.net/2013/05/19/passion-projects-in-year-6/) This blog, again, was from the authors point of view and did share the opinions of the other along with some “thoughts out loud”.
Lastly, I looked at the Primary Tech blog (http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/) and found a familiar topic on the first page: Creative Commons! I liked this blog a lot and though it related to what we are learning in my Learning Technologies course. This blog was awesome because it shared a lot of ideas on how to implement teaching kids about technology and the benefits technology can bring to a classroom. The author explains a huge benefit of blogging, “A sense of identity for the class is developed and the blog becomes an online meeting place and showcase for the all the wonderful things that are happening in the classroom” (Morris, http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/04/25/student-blogs-digital-portfolios/). This got my wheels turning.
After viewing these educator blogs, I think having a classroom blog would be a great idea to get faculty, students and parents on board and communicating about the curriculum and activities we do in school. I would love to have a blog for students to be able to go home and show their parents what projects we did in class, or share book reviews with their peers for reading, or even to develop their own portfolio of work that could help me assess their progress over the year.
As a professional development tool, sharing ideas such as the bloggers I reviewed above is a great way to keep things fresh. Posting blogs about activities, community outreach programs, or integrating technology could benefit other educators if they read a blog I wrote that documented my thoughts and ideas. In the education world, we are constantly needing to change our routine and lessons to keep things interesting for our students and ourselves. Blogs can be a great way to share those ideas and keep them circulating through the field of education.