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Blogs I Follow

This week’s #ETCoaches blog challenge: How do the reading of blogs influence you as an educator? Which blogs do you follow/love? Do you use a RSS reader?”

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I receive most of the resources and blogs that have an influence on me via Twitter and the Google+ Communities of which I’m a member. It’s my PLN to the rescue, once again. I used to use an RSS feed, back when Google Reader was an option. Then I realized that most of the blogs/people I follow share via Twitter. It felt redundant to have an RSS feed and Twitter, so I cut out the RSS.

Some of the blogs are thought-provoking, some share resources, and others share ideas about pedagogy. They all benefit me in different ways.

Here are some of the blogs/people I follow.

Thanks for reading; I always appreciate feedback.

 

 

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Recharging My Blog

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As I’ve said in the past, sometimes I need structure to keep me on track. I have had so many ideas for blog posts during the summer and already at the beginning of this school year, but alas, the time has slipped away. I’m embarrassed that it’s been so long since I posted.

Then, on Twitter recently, I came across the #ETCoaches Blog Challenge. Just what I needed to get back in the swing of things. Thank you to whomever is behind that!

My first post for the challenge – share the purpose of my blog. That’s a fabulous prompt as it truly causes me to reflect on why I have this blog.

Reasons for my blog and why I blog: 

  • Obviously, to reflect on my practice, which always help me learn and grow
  • To share great things happening in the schools in which I work
  • To help make connections with others
  • To stay positive (I don’t use my blog to rant and neither should you)
  • To help tell my story and that of our schools
  • To encourage others to blog, share, and get connected

I plan to continue with this Challenge, but will also get my readers caught up on what I’ve been up to since I last posted. Stay tuned and as always, feel free to comment and connect!

image credit: CreativeCommons flickr, kev-shine https://flic.kr/p/b3jjdD 

 

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We’ve completed two of three days of our “Becoming a Connected Educator” course at school.Working with these fascinating and smart friends, colleagues, and amazing teachers is so fun. I’m able to learn alongside them and marvel at the reflection and dialogue amongst the group.

After two days the teachers are now on Twitter, using Hootsuite, have Diigo accounts and have joined and are sharing bookmarks to our Diigo group for the class. They’re reaching out to connect with others, finding educators to follow, and reflecting on their learning on a shared Google site.

Today we used a Google Hangout to have a conversation with Peter Skillen (@peterskillen) and Brenda Sherry (@brendasherry). I met both of them online via my work with PLP this past year. They supported me in my learning and have continued to do so. We met face to face at ISTE and they said they’d collaborate with me in my work with this class. True to their word, they shared ideas and thoughts about being connected with the group this morning. They are fabulous people and wonderful educators and I can’t thank them enough.

Our group checked out the #edchat at noon today. I assumed we’d lurking and talk about the experience, figuring out how to navigate the rapid flow of tweets that run on and on. Instead, many in the room contributed their thoughts, retweeted, and continued the conversation about homework face to face. What a group!

Later in the day we talked about blogging and especially blogging with students. Many teachers set up accounts with kidblog.org and are exploring ways to use that tool effectively with students. I wonder how many will keep their blogs open for viewing and commenting by a global audience. That’s often an area of discomfort for many of us. Writing for an audience that includes more than the teacher is so powerful.

Tomorrow we ponder the beginning of the school year and what being connected, to whatever extent we are at that point, looks like for us as educators and with our students.

It’s going well. There’s so much more to this journey. All of it requires patience, acceptance that getting connected is a process that doesn’t happen overnight, and building community locally and beyond.

 

Image: Creative Commons/flickr by Frank2216 http://flic.kr/p/aiGJbc

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This year a team of educators from our school district has been fortunate to participate in year-long work with Powerful Learning Practice (PLP). We’re at the point in our work that we are doing an Action Research Project. One of our goals is for each of us to further develop our Personal Learning Networks (PLNs). I’ve written about this in the past on this blog.

As we explore the power of PLNs, we’re curious about how others have noticed the relationship between having a PLN and a possible impact on student learning. How has being a connected educator changed or transformed what takes place in the classroom (or school, library, etc.)?

Perhaps this can’t be measured with data from standardized tests. But surely there are anecdotal stories about how the connections we’ve made through Twitter, blogs, and other social networks have influenced schools, classrooms, student engagement, or has been transformational in any way.

If this is something you are are willing to share, please do so in the comment area below or get in touch with me @bonniebird on Twitter.

Thank you! We’re happy to share the results!

image: Creative Commons/flickr http://flic.kr/p/qTnKR

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