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I've found blogging has been key to my own professional development
This term, as in past terms I am one of those horrible teachers who
forces their students to use technology. I make my students create a
Google account just so we can all play in Google's Technology
Playground. I usually don't have too much opposition to this, and if a
student really doesn't want to create an account then they just
complete their weekly blog in a Word doc.
Anyway one of the assessment tasks this term is to blog. The students
are given a rubric of questions for the term that they have to address
each week. Some really dislike it. Others find it beneficial to help
them process what they've learnt. It's no different to writing in a
journal (like the good old days).
What's really interesting about Gen Y is that they are very confident
using certain aspects of technology. They appear to balk at something
that might be a bit different, but they're generally pretty quick to
pick it up and run with it. I guess for the purpose of the assessment
task they are just reflecting their learning online. But what I find
interesting is the internal thought process about their learning that
I don't always hear in the classroom.
Often they don't bother with punctuation and there can be large slabs
of text. It seems that the usual grammar rules get thrown out the
window when they type. I'm not really so concerned with these things
because it's the information I'm really after. But I do find it
interesting and insightful that grammar doesn't seem to rate as an
important part of the writing process.
The internal dialogue is rich with information for me and helps me
pick up on those things I hoped they'd learnt and areas where they're
struggling. It also indicates to me if there are things in the lesson
that I haven't explained clearly enough.
Students often struggle with what to write. It seems that the art of
thinking and writing; considering, analysing and synthesising new
learning are lost on a generation that's used to regurgitating and
memorising information for tests. However, all is not lost. I find
with each week that there are more thought provoking ideas that come
through their blogs.
There are those students who clearly have the gift of writing. I'm
afraid I'm not one of the lucky ones. I wish I could eloquently piece
my ideas together and weave my thoughts with beautiful images and
analogies. However I do my best. I don't necessarily think there is an
art to blogging, but more a sense of being able to communicate with
others in a different space and time. One in which I'd normally
communicate with someone face to face or over the phone. I've found
blogging has been key to my own professional development and have
found it's forced me to think about what I do in my classroom and also
how I engage with others in the education community.
There can be no art if there is no blogging. So blog away. Delve into
your thoughts and reflections and share what's on your mind with
others. It's a great way to connect with yourself and others who might
share in your struggles and frustrations. And it will also help you
process what's working in your class and what's not.
This is an edited version of a post that was originally published at
in the Classroom on 27 August 2014.