The Learning Circuits Blog has posted a Big Question for October which is “Should all learning professionals be blogging?”. This question caught my eye (and imagination) as it seems to me that, like many new developments, there is a level of expectation being generated within the education community that you need to be blogging in order to be ‘current’.
While I’ve personally found keeping a blog a really valuable personal and professional endeavour, I’d hesitate to say that every educational professional (assuming this includes teachers, principals, consultants, ministry officials etc) should keep one.
Which got me to thinking – why do I keep a blog? Well, here are the reasons that come to mind:
- it’s helped me establish a discipline of recording some of the ideas, thoughts, references and tips that I come across in my daily work.
- I’ve been able to create a ‘repository’ of these recorded items which I can then go back and search for at a later stage (when my memory has let me down)
- it allows me to share these things with colleagues without having to send repetitive emails – and it allows some of my colleagues to keep a track of what I’m up to through their RSS feeds etc
- through the comments that people leave I’ve received both affirmation and constructive feedback on ideas and things I’ve shared -helping me grow and gain confidence in what I do
- it’s forced me to read other people’s blogs in order to maintain currency in the things I’m thinking and writing about
- it’s made me set up an RSS feed reader in order to manage my time and energies, and to learn new skills relating to skimming and scanning large amounts of information
- I’ve used it as a place that I can send people to to find references, papers and presentations that I refer to or use when speaking to groups
- I’ve become linked to a community of people I’d previously either not known of, or only read about in vague references – I can now interact with them through their blogs, and they with me.
I’m sure I’ll think of others – but as I imagined my list, I came to the conclusion that, indeed, creating and maintaining my personal blog has helped me considerably as a professional – as a communicator, as a researcher, as a teacher and as a reflective practitioner.
Do I think all educational professionals should be engaged in these sorts of behaviours – absolutely yes! Do I think that therefore all educational professionals should be blogging – well, I’d certainly encourage them to try, but there are more ways of engaging in these sorts of behaviours than blogging. Some keep written journals, others meet regularly in professional groups, and others still publish papers in refereed journals – others blog!