I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with colleagues and present at my district's Summer Institute for two days in June.
I am collaborating and co-presenting with Ashley Hurley, a Professional Development Specialist in the district and a very dear friend of mine. We have joined forces to teach others about blogging as a way to read, write, and connect. Both of us have discovered blogging as educators, have our own blogs, and have contributed posts to other blogs. We enjoy connecting with other educators through their blogs, as well, and Twitter has connected us to many extraordinary and inspiring blogs.
Our participants will view blogging using multiple lenses--those of readers and writers. They will also explore blogging as an educator and blogging with students. Our 90 minuteinteractive presentation will help teachers understand the why, what, and how of blogging and will (hopefully!) leave them inspired to blog as an educator and encourage their students to blog.
It is important for educators to understand the relevance and how blogging can benefit them as educators. To accomplish this goal, Ashley & I have developed several tasks to help us accomplish this goal.
First, our participants will work in groups of three. Each team member will read one blog post about blogging. Ashley & I carefully selected three posts from various educators that offer reasons for teachers to share their thoughts through blogging. After each team member has a chance to read their chosen post, the group will have a chance to share what they learned with each other. Ashley & I crafted some questions to guide their discussions. We can't wait to "listen in" on their exchanges!
Next, participants will have a chance to browse the chat archives, then use an acronym (B.L.O.G) to guide their thinking. They will jot down the Benefits of blogging, Lessons learned, share their Opinions, & set a Goal for themselves.
After carefully reading the blog posts and chat archives from #moedchat, our participants will use their mobile devices to answer the question, "Why should educators blog" in a Padlet. Padlet is a great, easy to use interactive tool that can be used to share thoughts in real time.
Hopefully, at this point, we will have laid a strong foundation for why blogging is beneficial.
Using Twitter and having an active (and growing!) PLN has connected us with so many incredible resources! Another amazing resource we stumbled upon recently through Twitter is the Langwitches blog. Silvia Tolisano's work about blogging is fantastic! She has created powerful infographics to help people learn about blogging as pedagogy and blogging with students.
We will provide them with time to explore theindex for our district's blog, Teaching & Learning in CMS. We have amazing teacher leaders right here in our district who are sharing their experiences. The blog features a variety of different voices and the posts are diverse in content, as well. Our session participants will have time to browse through the posts and read a few of their choice. Plus, we will encourage them to comment on at least one post of their choice. After all, we know how it feels to have someone acknowledge that they have read your work. They will then capture their thoughts and reactions to our district blog in a collaborative Google Doc, which will eventually turn into a blog post. What?! A blog post about a blog during a PD session on blogs!?
Educators aren't the only ones who can and should blog! We will offer tips & ideas and share our own experiences with launching blogging with students. Again, we will be utilizing graphics fromLangwitches, along with an extremely powerful quote about student blogging by them.
“Blogging is about quality and authentic writing in digital spaces with a global audience in mind, observing digital citizenship responsibilities and rights, as one documents, reflects, organizes and makes one’s learning and thinking visible and searchable.”
--Silvia Tolisano of Langwitches
Our participants will also experience the way we introduced blogging with middle schoolers. We will provide them with information about a variety of different blogging platforms that can be used for them as educators and for blogging with students, such as Weebly and KidBlog.
Instead of a typical exit ticket, our participants will leave us a comment on our blog post about the session.
What are your biggest takeaways from today's session? What have you learned? What will you try as a result of this session? What questions do you still have about blogging? We can't wait to hear your thoughts!