Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Explaining Blogs and Blogging to My Students

I am thinking a lot about blogging lately. After finishing the Cyber PD book club, I know I want to have my students keep a classroom blog, and possibly their own on Kidblog as well. Today I thought I would just record my thoughts about blogs – this might be a post I end up sharing with my students.

I started reading blogs only about five or six years ago. I remember the first one I read was a well known blog – can’t remember the name for the life of me now. I had seen it mentioned in a magazine and wondered what it was all about. Once I went to the site, I figured out this person blogged for a living. What? That was a thing? I was floored that there was this whole sub-culture out there that I knew nothing about.

My blog reading has evolved. When I first started following blogs they were around subjects like photography and parenting. I loved teaching, but it didn’t even occur to me that there would be blogs on that. Then I moved on to blogs about families and home d├ęcor. About three years ago I discovered the blogs I currently read – mainly focusing on teaching and reading with a little of the former types thrown in for good measure.

I read all of my blogs in Feedly. I used to use Google Reader, but that has gone the way of the dodo, and I had to find a new format. I subscribe to so many, it can be overwhelming, although I did whittle the list down to about 140 a few months ago.

I rarely comment, more often I retweet a link when I think others should see it. I try and comment back on my own blog, but sometimes I am overwhelmed and don’t get to that like I should.

Personally, I think starting a blog is one of the best things I have done for myself. Writing helps me think through what is important. I feel I have become part of a greater community of bloggers and blog readers. And through blogging, I have opened myself up. That can be scary, but it can also be liberating. I think more friends – educators and friends in my area – know me in a way they likely wouldn’t have if they weren’t reading my posts on a regular basis. Hearing from readers who have read what I’ve written – and shared how it made them feel – is amazing. It makes me want to continue to be brave and write.

If you are inclined to comment – and no pressure to do so – would you share your thoughts on blogs or blogging? It can be anything – how you read blogs, why you read them, and/or if you do blog – what that has done for you? Trying to assimilate my thoughts on this topic before sharing with my students in a few weeks. Thanks!