Come March 2019, BlogWalker turns 13. I’ve loved being part of the Edublogs’ global community, a vibrant, ongoing source of inspiration and learning. I have experienced first-hand the unlimited possibilities and benefits blogging offers for being an active, contributing digital citizen.
I was blogging before Twitter came into my life. Through an RSS feed, I received alerts when my favorite bloggers (i.e., Kevin Hodgson, Bud Hunt, Troy Hicks, Will Richardson, Monica Edinger, Joyce Valenza, and more) posted a new piece. At some point, Twitter replaced my RSS feed, so today it will likely be a Tweet that directs me to a post from Kevin, Bud, Troy, Will, Monica, and/or Joyce.
In 2006, it was important to me that others were reading my blog. While I still very much enjoy having a reader drop by BlogWalker and leave a comment, today Twitter is where I mainly connect and interact with other like-minded educators. But blogging still serves an increasingly essential role in my learning journey. BlogWalker is where I document and reflect on my learning. It’s my digital file cabinet. I love that I can put ISTE or CUE in my search bar, for instance, and read through sessions I attended and favorite takeaways going back over 10 years. Eight years ago, I had no idea how many other teachers would appreciate that I shared resources and strategies for passing the CTEL test. And my 2016 trip to Rwanda – love that Carl Wilkens has used that post as a window into what educators will experience on his life-changing tours.
When I do blogging workshops for my district, I introduce Edublogs as a tool for both teachers and students. I am passionate about every student graduating with a positive digital footprint and an ePortfolio. I love George Couros’ strong recommendation for students to use Google as their working portfolios, which they regularly curate, selecting pieces for their professional ePortfolios/blogs. He too loves the flexibility of CampusPress/Edublogs, which allow students to upload/embed multiple platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), practice their digital citizenship skills (respectfully commenting, respecting intellectual property, etc.) and take their blogs with them – beyond graduation.
Blogs are a simple, yet powerful, way for students to reach “redefinition” on the SAMR ladder, taking student voice beyond the confines of the classroom and providing an authentic, potentially global audience.
My 2019 resolution is to continue to promote and support blogging through offering workshops and participating in PLN-building opportunities such as the January Blogger’s Challenge. I hope you’ll join me!
January 3, 2019 at 2:38 pm
I love this post, Gail, as a wonderful reminder of the benefits of blogging. Thank you for your inspiration! I’m grateful I met you … first online and at last summer’s ISTE DigCit PLN.
January 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm
I’m grateful too, Theresa, that we have connected. Your beautiful post about your grandmother is a powerful example of why we blog and why it’s important to document and celebrate our stories. I lost my grandmother when I was only 15, but she had a positive impact on all who knew her. A single mom (“widowed”)in 1915, with a 5-year old to raise (my dad) and not even the right to vote – such a strong, loving person. I’ll let you know when I post her story.
January 3, 2019 at 8:07 pm
What an uplifting piece about your blogging history and future.
I agree about the link between Twitter and blogging. I’m curious how you follow your favourite bloggers on Twitter. Do you see their posts serendipitously or do you create a list to make sure you see all their new content?
I know your experiences will help new bloggers realise the possibilities. So, thank you! I always enjoy reading your posts and learning from you.
January 4, 2019 at 7:55 am
I do have some Twitter lists, but finding blogging gems via Twitter is increasingly serendipitous.
I have learned so much from you, Kathleen. I love your guides, including your Twitter guide, which I’ll be sharing with teachers during an upcoming workshop. I also love your Copyright Guide. I’ve actually been maintaining a similar guide for a number of years – Can I Use That?, which I recently edited to include and reference your work… I like your guide better :-). If you were here in the states, I would be nudging you to co-present with me at two upcoming conferences (California League of Schools and CUE).:-)
January 4, 2019 at 8:52 pm
Thanks for your kind reply. How I wish I was closer to attend your wonderful conferences. I haven’t heard about the California League of Schools but I’ve heard CUE is excellent. I know my friend Linda Yollis has been to that one a number of times. You never know, maybe I’ll leap over the Pacific Ocean again some day! For now, I’ll enjoy reading your reflections.
Your guide is so helpful and comprehensive! I’m so glad there are others out there who enjoy letting others know that a) copyright exists and is important and b) doing the right thing doesn’t have to be too complicated
Looking forward to our new posts in January!
January 4, 2019 at 1:42 am
I have joined the #blogging28 challenge too. I believe I haven’t been to BlogWalker before today, so I’m glad I saw the tweet and your first post. I am a Californian too (right now in Bahrain). I loved reading your reasons for blogging. It was a good reminder for me why my blogging has changed over the years (Twitter connections have taken some of the connecting away from happening at my blog).
You articulated important aspects that I appreciate too–the ideas of our digital file cabinet and a place to document my learning. I am glad I decided to kick start my blogging this month with the challenge and look forward to connecting with new people like you.
January 4, 2019 at 7:42 am
Nice to meet you, both through Edublogs and Twitter. I look forward to learning what a teacher’s life is like in Bahrain (which is on my bucket list).
January 6, 2019 at 11:27 pm
Your blog is one year older than mine!
I’m curious as to how often you’re checking twitter or if you have a system to make it easier to find links you want to read? Twitter feels more noisy than it was back in our early days!
January 7, 2019 at 6:11 am
How is this possible, Sue, but I did recheck my first Edublogs post and it is from March 2006.
Twitter tends to be a quick energizer for me. I’ll randomly check my feed a few times a day, always learning something new, finding a little inspiration, and enjoying a bit of humor. Threaded discussions, like Kathleen’s #blogging28 challenge, are the icing on the Twitter cake.
January 7, 2019 at 4:05 am
Just saying .. I still follow you in my RSS reader …
January 7, 2019 at 6:04 am
Well, then, I’ll revisit RSS readers. Miss you, Kevin.