Connected Pro-D


Blogging To Build Personal Learning Networks

Posted in ECI 831 by tchcruiser on October 13, 2009
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What are 3 questions (and why) you would like answered on educational blogging or building personal learning networks?

1. I know Sue now blogs for a living – but how do people manage the time to put into reading and responding to blogs in order to cultivate a learning network? What are some people doing to build this into their professional development practice in unique, individual and creative ways? (I am thinking about setting a 30 minute timer each day and developing a reflective practice, not unlike yoga or exercise, in order to make it a habit before other things take over my day! Anyone else have ideas that work for them?)

2. How do you get your blog read by more people if public response is important to you?

3. Is there a one-stop location for upcoming webinars and virtual conferences someone in the educational field might be interested in checking frequently incase they want to “attend” virtually and expand their learning network in this way?

What are your thoughts on educational blogging after reading Sue Waters blog “What Are Your Thoughts on Educational Blogging? ? Have they changed?

I am interested to see that so many people are concerned about the legalities and worried about how they might be liable for student comments and behaviour in the virtual world- not unlike taking students on a field trip and feeling like you are responsible for their behaviour while they are in your care. This was not really something I was thinking about, but I can see how I maybe should have been.

I was also amazed to see the range of how teachers got their kids blogging – from protected safe spaces within a course management system where it could be moderated and controlled a bit more, to full web access – depending on the comfort level of the teacher and the maturity and motivation of the students. I also was interested in the kinds of ways that teachers were getting their kids blogging in relation to school- content areas. It reminded me of Dana Boyd’s video that we watched for this class a few weeks ago and her discussion about how the tools we like to use as adults are not the same ones our students like to use and how this might relate to blogging…. do our students resist this kind of activity because they see it as a lame adult thing to do on computers? Or do they resist because to do it well requires more than just cute one liners and thinking that shows deep reflection and connection with the material? I am not sure they are all that comfortable with this kind of reflective practice and therefore resist at the beginning because it is hard work! 🙂

 

 Do you have ideas where you could use blogging in professional reflection, network building, or in your classroom?

I am not in the classroom this year, but I can see how I might use blogging as a platform or mini-website of sorts to share my reflections on current professional readings I am doing, compile useful links and resources for colleagues in curricular areas that I work in and help organize and connect PLC work within my school division that I am directly involved in. I like the looks and approach that some of my previous colleagues in Prairie South have started such as Joyleen Orescanin (as a fellow consultant) and Al Stange  (a teacher who still manages time to be be reflective and connected). I can see the value in housing my work in one place where I can keep adding content, and yet still be open to allowing others to comment, make references to their knowledge and resources and further the learning of others beyond myself.

6 Responses to 'Blogging To Build Personal Learning Networks'

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  1. perrey said,

    you asked some great questions! I don’t really know how to get more people to read it, maybe doing something like this class. Post it to friends that have similar views. Linking it when commenting on others blogs. What did you find out?

  2. Sue Waters said,

    1. Chuckling re-“Sue now blogs for a living” — but in a nice way. Writing blogs posts is just a small, but necessary part, of my job role; majority of my work is supporting our community.

    Strange as it sounds I have even less time now to blog and work on my learning than when I wasn’t in this job role.

    For me, learning has always just been part of what I’ve done so for example at night when there is nothing on TV I would be doing what I do 🙂

    2. How do you get your blog read by more people
    Here are my five tips on building readership.

    3. Is there a one-stop location?

    I would definitely be part of Classroom 2.0 as they let you know of many of the upcoming online sessions and you find out about many conferences by twitter. Personally I now find online I learn more that conferences.

    Conferences for me are important for networking.

    “do our students resist this kind of activity” — you will always have a few that are resistant. It is part of human nature. However you can see a difference in their engagement based on how educators introduce and use it with them.

  3. John Strange said,

    Your comments are thoughtful and well reasoned. I too am amazed that the safety issue is of such concern. The world, and our kids (just check their sms levels) are so interconnected now that they can never be isolated. And if we were to isolate them we would just be isolating them from the future, at least the prosperous future). Better to teach them how to be successful at life in the world they will live in rather than the world of 100 years ago that many think they want to return to (well as long as they could take their HDTVs, their souped up cars, their iPods and iPhones, their ….)

    jstrange in class, @drjohnhadley on Twitter http://www.johnstrange.com on the web

  4. John Strange said,

    Oh yes, the more comments you leave on other people’s blogs, the more they will leave on yours – and tell others about your blog assuming you have something important or interesting to say!

  5. busybusinessteacher said,

    I definitely think that the more connected you become with Web 2.0 tools the more followers you will attract. There is really only one blog that I follow at times. http://theteachinglife.blogspot.com/ This link is to a professor of mine at the University of Regina. I suppose if I was to keep a current blog many of his readers may follow mine as we have similar educational interests. As you start to follow what others are doing, you might be surprised by the following you attract! I like the idea of setting a timer, whether theoretically or actual. Many successes in life come out of our daily habits. Perhaps if you did make reflection part of your daily routine it won’t be such an additional burden on your day. It then becomes, just something that you do, just as one reads the paper before bed, etc. Who knows what will happen, look at the comments already on this blog!! Happy blogging, Bettina Welsh


  6. My major digital project is a PD blog for my staff. I have a strategy for building a Professional Learning Network that I’m planning on using. Take a look at my blog http://bradleys-831.blogspot.com/ and give me your input. I agree with John, in that your arguments and reasoning always seems well thought out and sound.


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