I have spent quite a bit of time this week reading and looking for blogs. In addition, I find myself thinking a lot about what I will write in my posts. Blog researching, reading and writing has quickly become part of my daily routine and I have realized how time consuming it can be, if I am not careful.
I was very impressed with the writing and dedication many writers have to their blogs. Keen and avid bloggers wrote at least once a week and many wrote more often. How busy, dedicated teachers are able to find the time to post insightful, well-organized and informative posts is a mystery to me. Does writing and thinking of ideas become easier with practice?
I came across several very interesting and engaging blogs and I will share a few with you in this post. Will Richardson has been blogging for 10 years and writes about using technology in education. As he states on his blog, his site is dedicated to discussions about Read/Write web related technologies in the K-12 realm. His most recent post indicated that he had been writing for 10 years on the same blog (incredible!) and had decided to try a new tool – Tumblr.com I took a brief look at Tumblr and from what I could see it is similar to blogging, although the focus is more on microblogging, rather than long discussions (I think!) As it states on the main page, it is about blogging – short, to the point and direct. I guess it is something to continue to investigate.
Another advid educational blogger is Jeff Utecht. He has taught in several different schools around the world and writes about his experiences as a teacher. He has also written extensively about web-based portfolios, a topic I have become very interested in. On his blog, he has included a PDF document (a collection of several of his blog posts) that outlines his rationale for using web-based portfolios, as well as the results of using them to track student learning. His posts have got me thinking about using blogs as a way to have students keep track and reflect on themselves as a learner. A definite read if you are interested in learning more about web-based portfolios.
After searching for educational blogs, I started to look for blogs written by English teachers writing about literature and reading in the classroom. I was also looking for blogs that posted good book reviews for Young Adolescents, as I am always looking for new books, short stories and poems for my students. There were many blogs that discussed the topic of reading, but there were very few that I found (I didn’t do an extensive search) that focused reviewing of literature for classroom use. I will continue my search, but if anyone comes across some good blogs, please send me a comment. During this search, I came across Donalyn Miller who writes about inspiring and motivating student readers. In her most recent post, she comments on the article written by Meghan Cox Gurdon, a children’s book reviewer for the Wall Street Journal. In the article, “Darkeness Too Visible”, Meghan argues that the themes in YA novels these days are “lurid” and corrupt. This article sparks quite an interest among teachers, parents and other bloggers and became the third highest trending topic on Twitter. An interesting debate, for sure.
So far, blog reading has been very informative and at times, overwhelming. I have learned a lot in a short period of time and look forward to reading more. My search for blogs written by Quebec teachers continues, as it would be nice to read about how fellow teachers are implementing the new Quebec curriculum. As well, I continue to search for literature rich blogs.