Tag Archives: reflection

I’m Starting to Get this Blogging Stuff

This is my second attempt at a personal/professional blog and think I am finally coming into my own and understanding what makes a successful blogger. By no means do I think that I am in the same ‘weight class’ as the uber bloggers, but the fact that I have readers subscribed and hits on my blog’s clustermap is a huge accomplishment for me. Although there are many factors that make a blog a success, one of those factors is reading other blogs and posting reflections about what you have read.

In the eArticle written by Dean Shareski entitled, “Student and Teacher Blogs that Succeed“, the paragraph illustrates this point beautifully.

Blogging is mostly about reading
Blogging is way more about reading than it is writing. Many teachers don’t see this at first. Most classrooms provide a good balance of traditional reading and writing opportunities. Teachers recognize that in order to be a good writer you have to read good writing. Yet when it comes to blogging, most want to write immediately and sit back and wait for the world to pay attention. It won’t happen. Provide as much time for your students to read blogs as write. If you decide you want to blog or have your students blog, don’t feel badly about spending a few weeks or even months reading blogs. Look for exemplary work. Look for blogs that you relate to. Find blogs that have a different perspective on things you’re interested in Talk with your students about the blogs they enjoy. Before you write a post, be sure you are responding to something you’ve seen, read or heard.

I can definitely testify that following this suggestion will prove to you and your readers the truth of those sentiments. The more blogs I read, I am able to see how successful blogs are structured, created, and promoted. I can ask questions or clarification of points presented in blogs by the ‘superbloggers’ and have been willing to leave an encouraging comment in return. As exciting as it is to see the red dots grow on my blog’s cluster map, utilizing tools of this type that are purposeful and aesthetically pleasing can be gleaned from other bloggers. What I have discovered is that most bloggers don’t post their reflections, thoughts and viewpoints for fame or notoriety. Most bloggers share their reflections in an effort to explore and refine the craft of teaching through the reflection process. As educators sharing best practices and thoughts about classroom strategies that work or don’t work true enlightenment occurs in a way that is not possible without taking a moment to reflect upon our teaching practices. Without reading literature, periodicals or blogs, professional growth will stagnate – just as the progress or success of your blog without posting your reflections of your lessons, activities or readings of literature or periodicals.

I’m Starting to Get this Blogging Stuff

This is my second attempt at a personal/professional blog and think I am finally coming into my own and understanding what makes a successful blogger. By no means do I think that I am in the same ‘weight class’ as the uber bloggers, but the fact that I have readers subscribed and hits on my blog’s clustermap is a huge accomplishment for me. Although there are many factors that make a blog a success, one of those factors is reading other blogs and posting reflections about what you have read.

In the eArticle written by Dean Shareski entitled, “Student and Teacher Blogs that Succeed“, the paragraph illustrates this point beautifully.

Blogging is mostly about reading

Blogging is way more about reading than it is writing. Many teachers don’t see this at first. Most classrooms provide a good balance of traditional reading and writing opportunities. Teachers recognize that in order to be a good writer you have to read good writing. Yet when it comes to blogging, most want to write immediately and sit back and wait for the world to pay attention. It won’t happen. Provide as much time for your students to read blogs as write. If you decide you want to blog or have your students blog, don’t feel badly about spending a few weeks or even months reading blogs. Look for exemplary work. Look for blogs that you relate to. Find blogs that have a different perspective on things you’re interested in Talk with your students about the blogs they enjoy. Before you write a post, be sure you are responding to something you’ve seen, read or heard.

I can definitely testify that following this suggestion will prove to you and your readers the truth of those sentiments. The more blogs I read, I am able to see how successful blogs are structured, created, and promoted. I can ask questions or clarification of points presented in blogs by the ‘superbloggers’ and have been willing to leave an encouraging comment in return. As exciting as it is to see the red dots grow on my blog’s cluster map, utilizing tools of this type that are purposeful and aesthetically pleasing can be gleaned from other bloggers.

What I have discovered is that most bloggers don’t post their reflections, thoughts and viewpoints for fame or notoriety. Most bloggers share their reflections in an effort to explore and refine the craft of teaching through the reflection process. As educators sharing best practices and thoughts about classroom strategies that work or don’t work true enlightenment occurs in a way that is not possible without taking a moment to reflect upon our teaching practices. Without reading literature, periodicals or blogs, professional growth will stagnate – just as the progress or success of your blog without posting your reflections of your lessons, activities or readings of literature or periodicals.

Read my Reflections Please!

I just finished reading a post by Miguel Guhlin entitled, “Fervent Prayer – Read Me Please“. I can definitely relate as I work hard to start and promote this blog although Miguel has blogged for years. For a short while I worked in his department in his school district and I have great respect for him as my mentor but his superb writings. Shortly before reading Miguel’s post, I was reading a post from Wes Fryer’s blog, he mentioned a post from Jon Becker’s new blog about a similar notion.

Wes Fryer’s post:

“I hear you Jon. It can be lonely to write when no one is listening or seeming to pay attention. (I flashback to April 2001 again.) Our opportunity to have conversations which both change our practice and potentially change the thinking and practices of others, however, is unprecedented TODAY in human history. I am both humbled and electrified by that reality. Yes, I blog for many intrinsic reasons. Blogging helps me process and document my own learning journey, and I frequently benefit from this virtual bread crumb path as I refer back to old posts as well as social bookmarks in tags I’ve used.”

Jon Becker’s post:

“This blog is ONLY just over 3.5 months, but I find myself obsessed with figuring out if I am contributing to any networked learning. Scott McLeod has written about “measuring” the impact of a blog and I commented that I’d like to consider some combination of comments/post/reader and number of pingbacks. In other words, I will feel like my blog is useful/valuable if it is generating discussion. People may come and learn by simply observing, but I don’t feel like that’s enough.”

This appears to be a common notion at present time and I am heartened that I am experiencing similar feelings from the ‘heavy hitters’ in educational blogging. Just as in start up venture, whether it be writing or a new business, an investment of time and reflection is necessary. The creative process can be daunting and taxing and I felt comforted that even the ‘superbloggers’ feel a twinge of uncertainty at times.

Mentioned in these bloggers’ posts throughout their respective blogs was the importance of the reflection process for growth. While the topics of the posts in the superbloggers of ed tech’s blogs seem to come and flow naturally, I struggle with what to write and will anyone care what I have to say or read what I have shared. It is difficult being vulnerable, yet striving to be a prolific writer at the same time, in my humble opinion. But the mention in Miguel’s post about the importance of the reflection process is to affect change and growth struck a chord with me.

When I was working to achieve national board certification, critical questions requiring reflection on the learning process were asked throughout the entries I had to submit. Although I had already taught for 15 years or so, initially I didn’t see how important the reflection process was or how valuable and significant to professional growth that the reflection process played. After achieving national board certification, it has become ingrained that a reflection upon the lesson I just delivered to ensuring success for my students – whether they be K – 12 students or adult students. So I thank Jon Becker, Wes Fryer, and Miguel Guhlin and all of the other ed tech bloggers for making themselves vulnerable, taking a risk and sharing their own personal reflections with the rest of the world.