Posts Tagged 'educators blogging'

My first webinar

Yesterday I attended my first webinar entitled “Blogging for Beginners” by Janni Black sponsored by ISTE. It was quite an experience to participate in comfortable clothes, with an espresso by my hand and my cat in nearby chair watching and listening to Janni present information in a clear and engaging manner.  Although I have been writing this blog for a few months now and I don’t really think of myself as a beginner, I decided to attend this webinar because I knew there was lots more I needed to know about blogs.  Janni will be doing an intermediate session on blogs next month, and I may do that one as well.

Janni urged all educators considering using blogs with their students to first read some educator blogs to get a sense of what they are all about, then, when ready, post a comment to someone’s blog.  Thereafter, educators should set up their own blog and get a feel for what the experience is like.  I am pleased that she outlined this process because that is exactly the route I took.  As I was beginning to learn about Web 2.0, I found that educator blogs (and the wikis some of them created) to be my main source of information.  I was amazed how many educators from all levels already knew about these web technologies and how many of them were just getting started, like me.  There’s a whole community out there exploring these tools, and their blog posts (which tend to highlight an article they have read, a conference they have attended, a tool they have used, or an idea that they are thinking about) have led me to other blogs, other tools, new ideas, etc.  The learning is endless. Janni mentioned that blogging can enable you to take charge of your own professional development, and i concur.  Although the wealth of information can get overwhelming at times, I have found that a time-limited web session is the best; otherwise, the links from one site to another can eat up hours upon hours without me even noticing. Engagement with the content is never an issue; would high school or college students in a course be similarly engaged with this type of learning and exploration? (a question to ponder in terms of application to the classroom).

Throughout her presentation, Janni offered suggestions for how to choose blogs in terms of their features and their applicability to a classroom.  She spoke highly of Edublogs for using in high school settings and also for a one’s own educator blog (Note: Edublogs and WordPress are hosted by the same company).  And she gave suggestions for blogging sites for teachers who want to use blogs with their elementary students. You find many of them through her blog and a wiki on Wikispaces created by Support

One caveat that she mentioned in educating students about blogs and other web-based tools is not to fall into thinking that students are natives to all of this technology (I discussed this in my last blog).  Although they may have more digital experience with certain technology applications, they do not know all of them.  Janni cautioned us to break down the steps involved in using these tools and to incorporate many of the excellent videos available free on the web that teach students (and us) about these tools accurately and sensibly.

Thank you, Janni Black, you gave me lots to ponder, and I look forward to learning more.

August 2020