This past Monday and Tuesday I held my first Blog Alliance sessions for 10 teachers here at UNIS. It was a bit of a slow start since our network has been curiously lagging lately but it went well on both accounts. In my groups I’ve got a wide range of teachers: lower and upper elementary, elementary art and technology, middle/high school languages, math, drama, humanities, and even one of our Vietnamese support staff!
We discussed some of our essential questions, most importantly: Why do you want to blog?
The main reason, not surprisingly, is to create a professional blog to establish connections with other teachers. We also discussed using the blog as an online portfolio, highlighting some of the successes in the classroom as well as documenting the process of different units or projects. I mentioned how I recently created my own online resume and how rewarding it had been sifting through my blog posts to add hyperlinks for support. I’m hoping that as all of these various blogs develop, maybe by the end of this academic year, we can all come back together and discuss different ways that this can be accomplished.
In terms of actually doing, it didn’t feel like we did very much to be honest. In the 45 minute session, in addition to our discussion, we all managed to sign up for a WordPress account and create our blogs. I took them through the dashboard and through process of writing a post as well as some of the admin options. That’s about it, but it was enough. In the next few weeks we’re planning on learning how to personalize each blog, how to work with various media and how to manage comments.
I’m pretty excited to see how “into” this idea these teachers are getting. There is a wide range of technology savvy in the group and many of them are definitely stretching their comfort zones. They also all seem to get the idea that we, as teachers, need to practice what we are preaching to the students. I certainly admire the general risk-taking nature of this group!
Once their blogs get up and running, I hope you can take a moment to support them along the way!