Friday, April 22, 2011
Benefits of reflecting to a blog
So, you have a long-term project of wanting to improve your teaching. You’re recording daily reflections. You’re seeking the advice and insights of others. That is the description of the ideal motivation for a blog. Instead of making private notes in a notebook, post your reflections to your blog. Here’s how you’d use it.
- Seek out others who are blogging on the same themes with their blogs (there are millions of bloggers out there, you will find some of like mind).
- Seek out the blogs of others that you might consider in the category of mentor.
- Link to those other blogs on your blogroll. A blogroll is the list of links to other blogs where you essentially say, if you like my blog you might also like these blogs.
- Subscribe to the blogs on your blogroll with RSS. That way, you’re automatically notified when those other bloggers post something…especially useful for infrequent or irregular bloggers.
- As you read the others’ blogs, leave comments to their posts and include a link back to your blog under your signature so they may choose to add yours to their blogrolls. As you become an active participant in the discussion on their blogs, they may become active making comments on yours.
- When the posts of others inspire you to a new insight, create a post to your own blog about it and include a reference link to the other blogger’s inspiring post.
Cross-reading, cross-linking, cross-commenting and cross-posting builds among you a community of shared learning. Think of the opportunity: if your potential list of like-minded teachers is limited to those in adjacent classrooms at school, you’ll be lucky to find a lot of support. On the other hand, when you have the entire Internet to work with, and when it doesn’t matter if the others are down the hall or around the world, your opportunities are vastly greater.
There’s one more big advantage to seeking out others for a collaborative learning project like this. It’s easy to resolve to reflect. It’s easy to get a notebook and make the first few entries. But what makes reflection work is sticking to it over the long term. When you’ve set yourself up in the midst of a community, the momentum of the others will carry you along when your interest wanes. And a provocative post from you may motivate one of the others to return to his reflection. The community of common interest can take on a momentum of its own, sometimes carrying the members along with it.
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