Sunday, February 7, 2016


Photo Credit: Pixabay

Blogging is a way to get your ideas, thoughts, and questions out there. It's a platform for sharing the things you've tried and failed at, and the things that have been successful. After reviewing the listed sites, there seems to be a couple of major styles. Those that offer reviews of products that might enhance a classroom, those that are a "hub" for lessons and resources, and the blogs that are there to document an educator's journey through posts about what they are doing now, lessons they've tried, tutorials, etc.

I reviewed the Discovery Educator Network National Blog, Jonathan Wylie: Instructional Technology Consultant, Literacy, Technology, Policy, etc...A Blog, and Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Discovery Educator Network National Blog

This site is geared at educators, students, and administrators. The number of resources available are overwhelming, in a good way! Students and teachers have access to various articles and discussion panels. Teachers have an opportunity to participate in the DEN community and contribute to the site. Everything on the site is categorized nicely by subject, what's trending, programs, and the community page. DEN definitely meets the needs of their audience.

Jonathan Wylie: Instructional Technology Consultant

Jonathan's audience is obviously educators. His site is full of technology resources that can benefit a classroom. His goal of providing resources that are free is what makes his blog valuable. His site gives advice and thorough explanations of technology resources. It's nice that he includes images to support it. The types of resources are practical and useful. I've already taken his advice on Magic Ad Block and how to annotate a PDF using your iPhone or iPad.

Literacy, Technology, Policy, etc...A Blog

Jennifer Roberts' posts are a collection of her journey. She offers insight into her classroom and shares what has worked and doesn't. She provides teachers with ideas that she has actually tried herself. This is important to me because throwing out ideas about what could be great, is different than showcasing an idea, explaining how your executed it, the pros and cons of the process, and how you might refine it. for later.

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

 This blog is run by a team of teachers. Their resources are aimed towards other teachers and their desire to implement technology in the classroom. Their topics include Google Drive, iPad resources, and other ed tech resources (among other things.) Like Jonathan's blog, their posts offer insight on apps and Web 2.0 tools that could be useful and make a teacher's life easier.  


Johnathan's blog and Education Technology and Mobile Learning are similar in style. They are very direct with a resource, it's specs, and possible ways to implement it in the classroom. Discovery Ed is on a much larger scale with articles, lessons, and resources that are accessible when you know what you're looking for. They do also highlight educators and what they are doing in their classrooms as well. That gives it a personal touch and allows the reader to relate to it more. Jennifer's blog is similar in style to that. She's giving her personal input on what works and what doesn't. Her blog has a very personal look to it, unlike the others which are busy with ads and various links.

Blog reading vs other text
Reading a blog is different than other texts in the sense that it might be more enjoyable. You may visit a particular blog because you are looking for new ideas or because they offer a way to "simplify" your daily tasks. You may also read a blog for insight on improving your leadership skills or for inspiration and motivation to get you through the week. Whatever the reason, when you find the handful of blogs that you can always go to, it's a way for you to be connected to other educators.

Blog writing vs other types
This depends on the blogger and the intended audience. The style of writing might change from blog to blog, but I think blogging puts your contributions out there for one, or hundreds to read. Unless you're a well known blogger, and have promoted your site through your PLN, you might often wonder if anyone is reading what you write. For me, I see it more as a way to track and organize what I've tried and what I'm learning. It's different in the sense that it's personal. You really put yourself out there when you start blogging.

The comments on posts are either follow up questions, further suggestions, or expressions of gratitude. They can definitely help the post be more meaningful because it opens it up for discussion. Many people read posts, gain new insight and move on. Few might actually reply to a post. When the author actively participates in the comments, it's even more beneficial. They are offering a commitment to supporting their audience and through the comments, they can connect further.

Student learning
I believe blogging can help students in their learning process. In a world where most children find it hard to have their voice heard, they thrive when given the opportunity to get their words out there. With the thought that a post will be online and others might actually read what they think, gives them more purpose and forces them to be more conscious of what they write. More thought is put into their writing, especially when their peers may read and comment. Blogging, whether on a private or public class platform could be a valuable support for students.

**Post originally appeared in Weebly blog**

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