When I came to Bahrain, I blogged less and less. I’m not sure why. Is blogging losing popularity? Am I too busy? Has my blog become too politicized instead of education-based? Did I move too far away from my connections, who are mostly in the US and Canada? I don’t know why.
Anyway, when I saw Simon Justner‘s tweet about a January challenge to get my blog going again, I paid attention:
Have you dabbled with blogging in the past but struggled to maintain momentum? You're not alone!
We're here to help with a new 28 DAY CHALLENGE for educators to get you off to a great start in 2019. 🎉
I love using Flickr to post my own pictures. It’s a great resource for storing photos, up to a terabyte of image space for free. I also use others’ Creative Commons pictures, like the one above from eltpics.
Here is a presentation that will help you add Flickr images to your Edublogs website:
For those who know, is this the best way to do this in Edublogs? I know there are many other apps that automatically do the work of citing Creative Commons images in your blog posts.
If you have a favorite CC image resource, will you please share it in the comments below? Thank you!
Creative Commons – About Creative Commons Licenses, keeping the Internet creative, free, and open.
“If you had $3000 to buy tech equipment for your genius hour program, what would you buy?” Thanks, Rhonda!
I just had to write a blog post to answer that question. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure this list is exhaustive or that I won’t think of something additional tomorrow, but for now a couple things immediately come to mind.
First, I hope you already have access to great Internet connectedness and laptops for your students. If not, I’d start there with extra bandwidth and a small set of laptops or Chromebooks or iPads.
If I had enough computers for at least part time access for students, then I would get:
A pro account on Edublogs and pro accounts for any other tools that you and/or your students love. They can each have their own snazzy blog and join a world-wide authentic community where they will grow in reading, writing, presenting, and 21st century skills.
Video recorders and editing software.
A huge collection of Legos Mindstorms robotics, software, and Legos for students to tinker and create.
How about you? What would you do with $3000 to buy tech equipment for your genius hour program?
Welcome to the blogging world! Some of my blogging teacher friends have been creating resources for new bloggers, so I thought I would contribute my ideas. My simple advice is to get in there and start blogging, find your own way, and enjoy the journey.
Although I’ve been blogging for about 18 months, it’s just been in the last six months that my journey has become more engaging and rewarding.
The second thing that happened on my blogging journey is I realized I was unclear on the purpose of my blog. Was it for personal or professional reflection? Was it to give assignments and write model blog posts for my students? Yes, it was all of those things, and it was a little bit crazy. Along the way it became clear to me that I needed two blogs: one for professional entries and the other for classroom work. You are reading my professional blog, and you can find my student blogs at http://krebs.edublogs.org.
So, my advice is to get started and find your way. Maybe you’ll choose to join a blogging challenge and define your purpose earlier than I did. You are unique and your blogging journey will be too, so have fun with it and good luck!
Sheri Edwards recently wrote a post called “Five Tips for New Bloggers”
She also started a Diigo group you can join intended for folks to share information that will help bloggers. It’s called ebchallenge
Finally, here is a Voicethread started by Nancy Carroll to gather blogging advice from others:
I like that we call graduation “commencement” because commencement literally means beginning. As we graduate from the “30 Days to Kick Start Your Blogging” teacher challenge, I realize it is really the beginning. It is the beginning for all of us new (or freshly spiffed up) bloggers. An interview with my blog started this challenge, so I thought I would end the challenge with a final interview. But before my blog comes out, I wanted to show a word cloud of my blog over the past month. I am delighted with the big ideas and topics included.
Teacher Challenge Blog Posts in a Wordle
Well, Dare to Care Blog, why do you need readers?
Mrs. Krebs and all the fine educators who have been in this blogging challenge learned they have joined a conversation. They believe that they really do have something to offer in their listening to others and in their sharing of their own voices. According to my ClustrMap, in her first eleven months of blogging, she had about 450 visitors. In one month, as she participated in this awesome 30-day professional development program at Edublogs, she had 300+ visitors. From little over 1 visitor per day to 10 per day! Of course, we all know how that happened. Neither she nor I did anything new or exciting. There were no prizes, no gimmicks, her writing skills didn’t improve, nor did she have incredible new insights. It wasn’t the fancy widgets she put on my sidebar or the categories and tags she cleaned up. The only thing that really changed was she joined a community of educators willing to help each other by listening and sharing. It was transformational. Mrs. Krebs and I, her trusty blog, thank all of you!
How can we stay networked? How can the conversations continue?
I believe it will be more difficult without the regular prodding of Sue Waters, Ronnie Burt, Sue Wyatt, and Anne Mirtschin. However, it will be possible, if educators do a few things.
First, join Twitter, if you haven’t already. Follow the four educational leaders above and @mrsdkrebs. Send out tweets when you post a new blog entry. Follow educational leaders and read their blogs.
Second, dare to share. (Just a little play on my name there!) Write posts about incredible lesson plans, questions one has, cool new web 2.0 apps, genius student work, and any other professional and personal reflections. And write them regularly!
Finally, because there won’t be the handy “Posts of the Week” links to visit each others’ blogs, you’ll need to be proactive in going out to read others’ blogs. Have you found some favorite bloggers already? Add them to your reader or subscribe by email. Or add them to your blogroll and visit them regularly.
Why has this challenge been important to you and your blog?
My writer, Mrs. Krebs, asked me to yield to her on this question, so she’s taking over.
It’s an exciting time in education. According to Tony Wagner, American education is due for a major renovation. It’s happened just once before. Over 125 years ago, our school system was reinvented. It went from a one-room school house model to an assembly-line school system, the same factory model we still have today. American education doesn’t just need a reform, it needs a re-invention. I know it’s true. Students think education is irrelevant to their lives. They don’t believe the stale promise, if you work hard and get good grades, you’ll get a good job. I don’t want to waste any of my valuable time teaching in a way that is irrelevant. I want to be in on the conversation that is reinventing education. I don’t have grand ideas, but I do believe I can be part of the discourse. I am eager to listen and share and reflect. My blog has become a part of that!