Just a little over two years ago, I wrote my first blog post. I never expected to have readers at all, let alone readers all over the world, many of whom would, over time, become my friends. A year later, I was thrilled to be nominated for the Edublog Awards and proudly displayed the nomination badges in the sidebar of my blog. I didn’t care about winning, it was enough to have an acknowledgement that people out there valued what I had to say. I nominated some of my favourite blogs, knowing that as soon I hit the publish button, I would think of others I could have or should have included.
Another year later, a self-confessed addict to both reading and writing blogs, I wouldn’t know which to choose if I had to nominate favourites. Instead, I have some thoughts to share…
- Sometimes I have so many unread posts in my reader I just mark them as ‘read’ and start all over again.
- Sometimes I have so many tabs open with posts which I am still enjoying that my browser crashes.
- Sometimes I clean out my reader and reduce my subscriptions, in the hope I will be able to keep up with fewer blogs.
- At other times I keep adding new blogs till my reader is unmanageable and I would need a week off work to catch up.
- There are some blogs I like because they echo my sentiments and every post resonates for me.
- There are others that I like because they challenge me; they make me question and think, rethink and justify my thinking.
- I have learned an amazing amount and grown as an educator (even after 30 years!) from reading other educators’ blogs.
- I believe that teachers who aren’t reading education blogs and furthering their learning by engaging in social media are being left behind.
- I often read posts that inspire me to comment, but I can’t quite find the words to add something new to the conversation.
- I constantly email blog posts I discover to colleagues at my school because they are inspiring or challenging or interesting or all three.
- It sometimes bothers me that my most read posts are those in my ’10 ways series’ while other posts I regard as more valuable are read less.
- Most of the time my blog is a space to write my reflections and process my learning, as much for myself as anyone else.
- I always, always appreciate comments on my posts, even when I don’t respond individually.
I do have two favourite blogs I’d like to mention, for different reasons, even though I have personal investment in both.
One is Inquire Within, a blog about inquiry learning in all its forms, which now has contributors from 14 different countries, across six continents. It’s great that many of the contributors are PYP teachers as I am, but even better that many are not as they provide different perspectives. I like the fact that anyone can contribute and that every post is a surprise because of the variety of voices. I love the commonality and the diversity.
The other one is a class blog. Every class at my school now has a blog, and each one is at a different stage. My favourite is the 6D blog and only partly because I have taught that class and have an attachment to both the children and their class teacher! The blog is an extension of the classroom learning, a home for visible thinking and an opportunity for promoting authentic inquiry. I love that it’s messy and creative, as learning should be.
Here’s what the two blogs have in common: inquiry, learning, authenticity, multiple voices, diversity, big ideas … and they each represent a community of learners.