How do you take blogging beyond the classroom? The brief for my session is to show teachers what’s possible in the hope of inspiring them to take their current practice further. It’s one in a series of sessions for the Global Education Project. Some of the participants are new to blogging, others are further ahead… I like to encourage them, irrespective of where they are at, to take one small step forward and see where it leads.
The starting point for any good inquiry learning is the known. It is all well and good to begin there, but if the known is where you end up, well, it’s not really learning. This is true of our students and it is true of us as teachers and learners.
I recently attended a Blogging Master Class by Edna Sackson. The afternoon was engaging and inspiring and she left us with a sense of adventure and a challenge: to take the next step in our blogging journey, whatever that might be. I had to go from the known, to the unknown.
I had run a class blog for four years, we attracted a few visitors from around the globe, and I had even made connections with classrooms overseas via twitter. But I hadn’t actually tweeted. My challenge was clear.
Having just completed a blog post about my grade’s newfound fascination with Commander Chris Hadfield from the International Space Station (ISS), I knew that the stars were aligning. I followed Edna’s clear ‘how-to’ guide about how to get noticed on twitter and @ed Commander Hadfield into my tweet. The 120 characters sat on my screen- trapped between laptop and cyberspace. What if I finally spoke up, put myself out there, and no one cared to listen? What then?
After much hesitation I clicked ‘tweet’ and off my words went. Seven minutes later a reply came through. Within minutes my blog post was racking up views. The world did care to listen.
My students now feel themselves to be close and personal friends of Commander Hadfield and are delighted and inspired by the idea of the world watching us learn. It has only been a few weeks, but our virtual audience and connections continue to grow. Who knows where these adventures might take us?
Once you experience the authenticity that comes from learning and reflecting within the globally connected environment that educational blogging can provide, there is no going back to the once cosy and comfortable four walls of your classroom. Learning might begin there, but one can never anticipate where it could end up.
What’s your next step into the unknown going to be?