Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In Search of Teacher Bloggers

This week’s topic comes from an email response I received to last week's blog entry from Jen Sekella of Dozier Middle School in Newport News, VA:

I would like to start a blog - but I don’t know where educators hang out and blog on the ’net.

Jen’s question isn’t about what a blog is. It’s not about technical how-to’s. It’s about community. Where can you find other teachers and like-minded folks?

There are lots of places you can start a blog. Free blog hosts include Facebook, Wordpress, LiveJournal, MySpace, Blogger, Windows Live Spaces, and Xanga. Additional sites are listed in the Wikipedia Weblog Software entry.

There are teacher bloggers on all those blogging sites, but you have to know how to find them. If you want to write short updates, Facebook could be for you. Look up some colleagues you know on Facebook, and build your network from there. Don't miss the opportunity to look at your colleague’s friends too. You’ll connect to other teachers quickly and easily that way. There are also some Facebook groups for teachers:

The easiest solution is to join the 2008 NCTE Annual Convention Ning. Once you sign up, you can blog on the site and you will be immediately connected with other NCTE members. Everyone is welcome, whether you will attend the Convention next month or not. It’s a great way to plug into the sessions and connect with people. The process is simple:

  1. Sign Up (or sign in if you already have a login).
  2. Back on the Ning Homepage, click the My Page link.
  3. (optional) Add any details to your profile (the info on “My Page”).
  4. Click Blog Posts in the left column.
  5. Start writing your blog entry on the next page.

It really is that simple. So no excuses. You don’t even need to know HTML codes. Sign up on the NCTE Ning and get blogging!


Meanwhile, I keep dancing said...


The best way to become a part of the "blogosphere" is to read blogs, comment, and link to your blog. Your reading will lead you to new and different blogs, and when you join the conversation, you become part of the community. I started with HuffEnglish.com, which led me to lots of other good stuff.

Dana Huff said...

Thanks for the shout out, Meanwhile! What a surprise to click to comment and see my blog mentioned.

I have to second what Meanwhile says. Read other blogs -- teachers who teach the same things as you and teachers who teach different subjects from you, too. Comment, engage in conversation on their blogs. Over time, you do become part of the community.

npd said...

If you want a great read on almost every day, read Carla Beard's http://www.enotes.com/blogs/english-teacher-blog/

I find her blog both amusing and helpful. She is the WebEnglishTeacher and you will find an article by her in the Council magazine.

Linda Bowman said...

I was an English/writing teacher for over twenty years and about five years ago I started a writing/editing/coaching business. Last summer I started writing a monthly column called, "A Writer's Life," for a small regional newspaper. The next logical step was to have my column do double-duty as my monthly blog. The column and blog focus on some aspect of the writing process. I've had a little traffic to the site, but I'd love to connect and cross-reference with other writing teachers/tutors/coaches. You can read my blog or leave a comment by going to my website at www.tuneyourwritng.com.

sallylwess said...

Thank you for addressing this topic. I had actually been needing a bit more inpiration to start a blog. You all have given me that.

We have a family blog that was started by my daughter a few months back. It has been just great because I am able to keep up with my five children who are spread all over the country. We also have some very fun, funny and touching conversations via the blog. I also get updated photos of the grandchildren on a more regular basis.

Blogging is all about building community. I love it.
Tonight I will be addressing this topic during my University class that I teach on Secondary English Methods. Thanks for the input.

debrennersmith said...

www.debrennersmith.com I post a new reading or writing lesson daily. I also try to comment on at least 3-5 other blogs daily. deb

Teacher said...

I am a composition instructor at a community college, and I have been blogging with my students for a year.

Each semester, I create a new blog in which we discuss our response to the assigned literature. It has deepened student understanding and created a sense of community within the classroom.


I have not yet created a blog for collaboration and professional development, however I am interested in blogging with other teachers. Thank you for your post. I enjoy your blog very much.

Sharon Pajka-West,Ph.D. said...

I keep a blog for my own research and I blog with my first-year college students. If I "force" them to do something, I always do it myself. As a class, we set up Blogger accounts and respond to course readings.

It takes time to get your blog out there. Read other blogs and post comments. Tell your friends about your blog posts so that they can give you feedback. Finally, add your blog to an aggregator that gathers blogs from all over the internet into one central location.

Jeni M. said...

I do a classroom blog for the families and kids in my class. It is a fun way to keep them informed and interactive. I use WordPress because it's provided by our district.

angel said...

i am especially fond of laynie browne’s take in her 2007 book daily sonnets…lovely gentle surprising fun familial. she takes after bernadette mayer…
have you done a sonnet prompt for read/write/poem yet?
online informal