Sunday, July 03, 2005

What I've learned...

Well, Anne started it. And then Will came up with his own list of what he has learned from blogging. So I decided it was time to make my own list.

Anne's list includes many items I would put on my own. I especially liked
I've learned that with weblogs the educational possibilities truly are limitless! We can learn right along with and from the students. Weblogs can be the portal to bring about change in our classrooms (like less lecturing, etc.) The conversations need to continue. We need to share those conversations. We're in a new type of learning and writing space that moves way beyond our classrooms that have been closed for so many years. I like to think that letting all our voices be heard will bring about needed changes in our educational system.
As an educator, I have learned more from weblogs than other school type inservices I've attended.

Will's list includes so many good things that it is hard to pick a couple, but I really liked
Weblogs are personal. It doesn't matter what I blog about, I leave a piece of my soul every time I blog because I'm always feeling the reader on the other side of the screen, imagined or not. I'm not just putting words out there; I'm putting a part of myself, and even though I've been doing it for four years now, each post still feels like a risk.
Blogs take work. They need to be nurtured. They demand attention. It really is like planting a seed and then consistently tending to its growth.

Now, I don't have the years of blogging experience that Anne and Will have, but blogging has affected my life in ways I would never have imagined. So here is a list of some of the things I have learned from blogging:
  1. My blog posts are better if I am reading and thinking about what others have said. Now, I didn't imagine that I would have that kind of a blog, but I do. I thought I would probably keep amore journal-like blog than I have ended up doing. I think that was due to my own lack of confidence. When I started blogging I hadn't read that many blogs; I didn't know much about what was out there. I had read Dan Gillmor's blog and Howard Rheingold's Smart Mobs, and I certainly couldn't begin to put myself in their category as bloggers. So, to my way of looking at it, I would have to be more of an online journaler. Over the months I have been blogging, I have lost that idea and and have developed confidence in my ability to blog on topics of more importance than my own life. So I have to read a lot. And that is good!
  2. I have leared that it is important to use an aggregator like Bloglines if you want to try to read enough to find interesting things to comment on. I remember whan I discovered Bloglines. It saved me tons of time -- and I wasn't even reading that many blogs back then!
  3. I have learned that blogging, at its best at least as far as I am concerned, is conversation. If I post and no one comments on my blog or writes about my post on their blog, the blog isn't doing much more than a pen and paper journal would do. It is the conversational possibilities, the communal nature of blogging that make it so amazing.
  4. Because of that conversation and communal nature, I have learned a great deal about my profession that I would probably never have learned elsewhere. Blogging has provided me with some of the best professional development I have ever received as an educator. It has provided me with information and with a forum in which to discuss that information.

Blogging is part of my life now. I am anxious to see what I will be able to say I have learned this time next year and the next and...

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