As part of an assignment (and for my own benefit, to be sure), I am going to be following, or rather, reading old posts from a blog called 23thingskansas.org. The idea of this blog is to give educators some tips and tools for Education 2.0… the next generation of educating. 🙂 I will be going through these 23 things, one at a time, about 2 per week for the next 12 weeks. You’re welcome to join me and follow along as it’s bound to be interesting, if not educational.
Read about blogging after the break!
So, blogging is something that is fairly familiar to me. I created my first “blog” when I was teaching band, back in aught-three. I had three levels of band classes: beginning, middle school, upper school (we didn’t call it “high school”). In order to keep parents apprised of the goings-on of the band program, I created separate blogs for each of the bands, and one blog to rule them all.
I used Google’s Blogger at the time, and eventually created a blog for personal use as well. I’ve never been one for bad URL names, so I quickly learned how to register a domain and point that at the blog so I could have my own unique address (www.ryanandsamantha.info). Then, it didn’t take me long to grow tired of the limitations that a hosted blog has, especially Blogger, so I moved to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Since then, I have created websites for several corporations and non-profit organizations using WordPress.
My main issue with blogs (including this one) is that I find it difficult to stay motived to create new content. I believe that most writers struggle with this, but it’s especially difficult when you get the feeling that no one is reading, because you are getting no comments.
I have read about many teachers who use blogs to great effect in the classroom, and while it sounds like an interesting idea, there are many pitfalls to doing this, in my opinion. The blogs would need to be created in a very safe and sheltered environment, to help the children learn how to prevent over-sharing, as is very common among today’s students. At the same time, you don’t want their blog to simply turn into a glorified notebook where they simply write their assignments and turn them in via a blog. Finding that happy medium in there somewhere is the greatest challenge for a teacher who is interested in using blogging in the classroom. Where is that happy medium, and how do you go about finding it? I have no idea.
Great site! I love how you have imbedded images into your blog to make it even more interesting. I have used a blog in a classroom setting, and it seemed to work great (it was only one semester and one small unit at that). However, I do agree that it needs to be in a safe and sheltered environment. In fact, next time I do it, I’ll probably have my students blog on a program called moodle that my district subscribes where only fellow classmates and teachers can view the content.
Sorry! I realized I had a typo and tried to correct it before my comment was submitted, so now, you get THREE comments from me 🙂
It looks like you are quite used to writing blogs. It’s very intersting! I am uncomfortable with my blog I guess. Not sure how to use it and all that. Thanks for sharing!
@Lauren — No worries, I deleted the extra comment with the typo in it. 🙂 I set up Moodle for the last school I was at… trying to get the other teachers interested enough to use it was like pulling teeth though!
@ Jina — The more blogs you *read*, the more comfortable you will feel with writing them. Subscribe to a bunch of blogs’ RSS feeds (on lots of different topics) and just read, read, read.
Hi Ryan! I’m excited you’re using our old site from last year’s 23 Things Kansas. I’m one of the organizers and “mentors” from the program. How did you discover the site and what prompted you to work through it? I hope you find the lessons useful as you work through; the content definitely is still relevant, even at a year or more old now. Best of luck in this endeavor. If you ever have any questions, leave comments on the current blog. They won’t appear right away (I have to approve them, as spammers like to leave comments), but the comment messages come to my email, and I’ll hopefully be able to respond within a few days.
Hi Heather! Thanks for commenting and reading my post! To be honest, the decision to go through the 23 Things was part of an assignment for a graduate class at Pitt State University, but as it involves reading a blog and writing a blog, I am pretty stoked about it. Since I am a techhead myself, I am most interested in discovering not so much how to use these different technologies, but rather how people have and are using them to further education.
Thanks for your site, and feel free to drop by anytime!