You will respect my authoritah!!
Still thinking of starting your own blog? Are you a bit of a blurker? Don’t think you have anything to say?… then read on. I’ve got a tale to tell!
I had a really interesting chat at last weeks LTS Futures meeting in Stirling with Ewan (edu.blogs.com) and Andrew (no blog… yet! — one of LTSs Content Editors) about authority when blogging. Ewan asked me if I agreed that, in order to post a comment on a blog with any authority, the commenter really needs to have their own blog. The question took me by surprise, and I wasn’t sure how to answer as it’s not something I’d really given a great deal of thought to. One week later, and it’s still rattling around in the back of my mind. One week later, and I’m still not sure if I agree that you need to have a blog in order to comment. One week later, and I’m wondering just how many others are sitting out there blurking(*) because they’re worried about sticking their heads above the parapet?
As I said at Stirling, I really have Ewan to thank for my current blogging. I’d had a blog in the past (2003! …courtesy of iBlog and my .Mac subscription) but, while I could see the potential in the classroom, I didn’t really pursue it with any great vigour. Part of this was down to the logistics of using a blog in a class where only just over half the pupils had access to a computer or internet connection at home, and the rest was down to the simple fact that I didn’t appreciate what a fantastic community of edubloggers there was out there to bounce ideas off…
Fast-forward three years, and I’ve risen to Ewan’s ‘What- no blog?’ challenge and gone public. I suppose I followed the traditional route for many bloggers. For a while, I blurked around, dropping the odd comment here and there, and felt that my voice wasn’t worthy of bringing to a wider audience… then I realised that I was really just making excuses for not getting on with it. I launched my blog amidst a blaze of apathy, and was all set to change Scottish Education for the better.
Without being silly about it, I think that blogging has been the single most career changing and improving thing I’ve ever done. It has turned me from being a happy camper wandering through the Scottish Education system without a care in the world or a thought in my head to being a genuinely reflective practitioner. I have ended up reading more about education, thinking more about education, and evaluating and revising my own practice as a result.
Since I started blogging my reading has come from everywhere, and my conversations have gone everywhere as a result. I read education blogs from the Scotland, England, Ireland, Hong-Kong, USA, Australia, Canada… you get the picture… and I’ve become involved in conversations with many of these people. I’ve found ideas for lessons, I’ve been able to give ideas for lessons, I’ve made friends, and I’ve genuinely enjoyed talking about education and where it’s going with some of the most interesting people going… in short, Blogging about education has made me a more productive and engaged learner and teacher… which is exactly what we want our pupils to become!
So… quit blurking, and get blogging! I look forward to hearing what you have to say!
(*) = blurk:(vb.) lurking on blogs