How much fun is this! Sifting through the blogs of other educators and Media Specialists is encouraging and inspirational. I’ve been shopping the links Mike has provided and the WordPress search feature to find blogs based on my current and future curriculum. There are so many bloggers–I had no idea! I am definitely behind the times! I started by looking at the Best Teacher Blogs and found that most of them are a little overwhelming to start. I am a little surprised at this because I follow health and nutrition blogs, but I guess education is a little different because it’s not quite so specialized and we have so many fields available to us. Not everything is meaningful to me or my classroom, so I prefer to focus on my content area and technology.
I’m currently teaching a 9th grade Blended Learning Class in Frederick County and I’m amazed at all the support that I’ve been given. There are so many tools available to me, but sifting through what is best for my students isn’t always easy. So I checked out Shelley Sanchez Terrell’s blog since it was one of the Edublogs Best Teacher winners. Terrell is a consultant and elearning specialist who seems to be focused on awareness and selling her product. Immediately, I loved that she included her twitter posts. A goal! Her blog seems to be more of a website, so I struggled to find her actual posts until I chose Explore from her drop down menu. There, I found a wealth of information, though it wasn’t organized by date like I expected. I kind of like this because the content was rich and I didn’t feel like I had to sort through a bunch of dates like other blogs. I was hoping to find a post of Blended, but instead I found Flipped Classroom which was meaningful as well. I also viewed her topic Exam Prep, which has new ideas like Voxopop and Tinytap that I wasn’t aware of. I hope to try them out with my classes.
I also teach AP Literature, and I’m always looking for ideas! I looked at a few blogs after doing a brief Google Search and found Titan AP Literature, which seems to focus on organizing students and providing reminders. I found it a little cumbersome to sort through, but I think it would make a lot more sense if I were in his / her class. The teacher has a great deal of information that I would organize on Google Classroom, so it seems like it’s just a platform to provide class details rather than what I previously considered a blog, which is similar to what Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide state in Brain of the Blogger as Mike shared. I’m definitely learning!
I also wanted to check out another award winning classroom blog and was thrilled to find Cougar News Blog, which is written by, and for, Cactus Canyon Junior High students. I found it unique that the blog wasn’t actually updated by the teacher but rather by students. I thought this would be more enlightening and it was! The student journalist are pretty creative in how they draw in readers through words like , “You won’t lose interest“. They seem to be focused on what is interesting to students at the school such as Cougar news and pictures, as well as popular movies and books. In addition, the students posted some interactive questioning to get to know their readers better. I think this blog works really for the particular class–Journalism, but I’m not quite sure how my students in an English class would use this as a whole group. Wait! I have an idea! Blended! So many people are intrigued by blended learning. I think this could be a way to express our journey as a class. It could also include our media specialist, other blended teachers, and technology expert from the county. Hmmmm, any ideas on that, my reader friend?
I am pondering how I can encourage other teachers to try blogging and because this is so new to me, I would be a little afraid to encourage them too much! However, I am sure by sharing my blog and showing our journalism teacher the Cougar News Blog, I could excite him and his students.
Off to check out some Library blogs! I can’t wait! (Oh, and I better clean up that big pile of folders in the background of my picture! Yikes, what a mess!).