Tuesday, January 18, 2011

10 reasons to get educators blogging...

5 reasons educators should start reading blogs:

1) - Blogs are the heart of learning and sharing...

If you are an idea and inspiration junkie like myself, then you will find blogs to be extremely beneficial. Educators of all ages and backgrounds are bringing their ideas, reflections and experiences to one convenient location; their blog. Educational bloggers have one goal, and that is to share as many ideas and experiences as possible. During the last 7 months, I have had the opportunity to learn so much by reading and following the blogs of others. Additionally, reading and following blogs helps keep me current on new and pressing educational issues.   

2) - Blogs are real world and real time experiences...

When educators write a new blog post I can say with almost 100% certainty that they are writing about something that has happened recently. Whether it happened as part of their daily job experience, or it happened as part of a professional conversation, educator blog posts are relevant and current. Blogs are personal and can be quite intimate at times, thus bringing to the life the real experiences of real educators.

3) - Blogs will make you reflect on your educational practices...

As you begin reading educator blogs you will instinctively start to reflect upon your educational practices and beliefs. You will (whether you like it or not) start comparing yourself to others and to their experiences, and fortunately this is not a bad thing. The more we question and think about what we are doing the better off we will be. Reflection is key to educator growth and development, and blogging helps with this.

4) - Blogs give you the opportunity to connect and collaborate with educators from all around the world...

One thing most educators don't have the time for during the course of a normal work day is sharing and collaboration. Blogging provides a safe and comfortable forum that supports two-way (at times even more) conversation. Imagine this: you read a blog post...you have a question...you leave a comment...you get a response from the original author (or another reader)...you start a conversation with these educators...you've made several connections...you've started expanding your PLN (professional learning network). Blogs create opportunity through collaboration and sharing.

5) - Blogs are free, accessible and extremely convenient...
The Internet has made educator growth a "anytime / anywhere" kind of thing. New educator blog posts are being written on a daily basis, and most importantly they are all FREE! If you have access to the Internet (computer, phone, etc...), you have the world of blogging at your finger tips. Blogs are accessible 24/7 and help to provide you what you need when you want it. I am not saying that books will become obsolete, but reading blogs has definitely taken a chunk out of my book reading time.

5 reasons educators should have their own blogs:

1) - You wish to improve your educational practices through sharing and collaboration...

Your blog posts will be an open invitation for educators to leave comments. This is an excellent opportunity to see what other educators think about your educational practices and / or beliefs. By engaging in open conversations with other educators through comments you are able to learn from the opinions of others. More importantly, these opinions are coming from a very diverse group of educators who all want and are willing to help. The educator blogging community is extremely gracious when it comes to supporting one of their own.

2) - You want to help other educators by sharing your experiences...

Every time you write a blog post you are giving another educator the opportunity to learn. By reading about your beliefs and experiences, you are providing them the perfect foundation for growth. Just as you can grow and develop as an educator by reading the posts of others, others can grow and develop by reading your posts. Once you become comfortable reading the blogs others, it is only fair you start to repay the favor and start adding your own!

3) - You want to add to the educational discussions happening all around the world...

Too often educators are able to list all the negative and bad things happening in education, while they are only able to talk about and list a few of the positive things happening. A blog provides you the opportunity to be a part of the educational solution. Your voice now has a much broader and diverse audience, which in turn can be extremely powerful. Please take advantage of this great opportunity and let your voice to heard.

4) - You want to take professional reflection to the next level...

One of the best things about blogging (in my opinion) is the reflective piece. Whenever I sit down to write a blog post I am forced to really think about what I am going to write. Consequently, there is no way I can write something without having given it considerable thought. Anytime I share a classroom experience or an educational belief on my blog, I am forced to evaluate and analyze. This is a crucial piece to future educator growth and development.

5) - You want to inspire others and lead by example...

Some of the best blogs posts tend to have two things in common: 1) - they inspire me... 2) - they describe an experience or thought where the original author is leading by example. Here is your opportunity to inspire and motivate others toward new heights. Share your success stories...share your failures...share how you are trying something new and leading by example. Your blog is your playground, and I promise you...there is no greater feeling than getting a comment or an E-mail from somebody who was inspired and motivated to try something new because of your blog post...


  1. Super post, Justin. I will definitely be sharing this with staff who are on the cusp of becoming bloggers themselves. Well done and thank you!

    I would also add that by blogging you reveal your philosophy. It is a relationship-builder with parents, students and colleagues. Becoming more transparent is very liberating, which runs contrary to most people's beliefs.


  2. Excellent work, as always. You make a very valid argument. = )

  3. Fantastic synthesis and summary of the added-value for newbies to blogging: the payback is SO much bigger, wider, and deeper than the time and energy required to participate. I'll be sharing this with my staff-colleagues: some by paper, some by electronic mail, some by link -- in the hope that somewhere along the line a few of them will trust enough and be curious enough to take me up on my offer to help them enter this world.

    Thanks for your effort in putting this all together!

    Cathy @beachcat11 - a newbie myself,
    but one who is totally captivated by the possibilities
    and the sharing by folks like you, reading this!

  4. What a timely post! I'm a family doctor interested in health literacy. I've embarked on exploring the role of "physician as pedagogue" and just started a blog to chronicle this process. Thank you for sharing.

  5. P.S. To reach my blog: www.practicalmedicine.ca
    I look forward to any pearls that educators have to offer!

  6. Great post! I blog not only as teacher but as mom - mom of a disabled child. His teachers could learn a lot from reading my posts.

  7. Great summary Justin. Blogging was new to me 8 months ago but I now can't imagine my professional life without it.

  8. I just created my first blog post today. Thanks for all of your information on this topic. I also liked your collection of education videos and hope to use them with my staff soon.

  9. Forwarding this right now to a principal colleague. Thanks, Justin!

  10. This is a nice article. Blogs are an invaluable tool for building up for search engine rankings and great advertising tools. The most potent link juices blogs can offer are the links in actual posts.

  11. 2 reasons not to. 1)Blogging does not replace actual talking to other teachers except that it does occupy the same time. Sitting at a computer instead of popping in on classes is convenient but not interactive. 2) It is a bit egocentric to post comments to ... everyone. Not to mention the advertised option to "view my profile".

  12. Anonymous,

    I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I would agree that blogging does not replace F2F interactions, but that is why most blogging occurs outside of the school day. My blogging ideas and topics originate from my F2F interactions both with students and colleagues while at school. Most importantly, blogging provides an open forum that helps me to share, learn and collaborate with educators from around the world. F2F interactions are extremely important, but there is unlimited potential when connecting with educators from around the world.

    Additionally, I personally enjoy leaving comments on blog posts because it allows me to continue the conversation. When a conversation continues through comments the growth potential skyrockets simply because different opinions and viewpoints are being expressed. Lastly, if someone leaves a comment I want to know more about them. If they are on Twitter or have a blog I am interested in seeing what they have to offer.

    Blogs are about learning and growing, and by no means am I saying you have to blog to be a good educator...but I have yet to hear an educator say that blogging has hurt them or limited their growth as an educator.

  13. Justin,

    my wife, a family physician, is interested in developing a PLN and a blog of her own to connect with other doctors. We replaced education with medicine and educator with doctor and read the 10 points aloud. It works perfectly for her profession as well. So I guess I am saying that your words need not be focused on our profession, but more than likely most professions.

    WE both thank you.

  14. I have now written posts three times and what I am learning is that when you write, you think. When you read comments, you reflect more. And, when you begin writing, you feel the need to do more blog reading. I couldn't agree with you more Justin - The collaboration and continuous reflection is infectious. Sue_Sneath

  15. Hi Justin, I just tweeted this blog. Keep spreading the word. You outlined excellent reasons for educators to blog. Still, many don't. How can we change that?

  16. Justin (and others), I completely agree with everything that has been said. I am a tech geek and love to integrate tech and education. I have been contemplating for some time to create a blog but am stuck on one question: What should I blog about? With so many wonderful blogs out there already (like this one) what makes mine worth reading? How do you all as experienced bloggers work through this when you blog. I feel like my blog will just be one more site saying the same thing as everyone else. Do you have any advice/suggestions for someone who wants to blog but not sure how to start?


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