Asking around a staffroom who has their own blog can definitely raise some eyebrows. When I was on my last placement, it was as if I was talking a different language. Some teachers are just afraid of technology, but those who do go to the effort to setup a blog and throw around some thoughts, often find that it becomes a gateway drug of sorts.
Setting up your own blog can be as simple or as complicated as you would like. You can even have one setup on Blogger or WordPress in a matter of minutes. Once you have picked out your theme, and put together your first post you start to look around… What else can go here?
Twitter widgets, favourite quote widgets, visitor map widgets, all of the new and exciting tools that can be dragged and dropped in to your blog. This is where it all starts, the widgets and how easy they are to use, keep you interested as the “Gateway” expands around you…
For some teachers, this is where it stops. They have a couple of widgets, they have published their first blog post, they have “done blogging”, no need to keep going. For others, it sparks their interest.
The pattern of technology adoption in teachers I know usually follows this:
- Setup Blogging Account.
- Add Visitor map widget.
- See twitter widget.
- Create Twitter account.
- Add Twitter widget.
- Write a blog post about how awesome twitter is.
To some people that might not seem like a big deal, but to others it is a massive step forward in technology usage that WILL filter down into our schools.
Blogging and “Tweeting” expose educators to an international network of resources and peers, who I have seen go out of their way to help each other. In addition, it creates an alternative to many class activities, where students can be asked to start a blog, or create constructive tweets (public or private blog and constructive tweets, i.e – students can summarise a lesson into a series of tweets).
The best part about the forming technology “addiction” is that it does not stop there. Based upon what we learn through the process of tweeting, blogging and thinking, we start actively looking for the next hit.
“What is the next piece of technology I can use to help myself, and my students?”