Reviewing three educator blogs…

The first educator blog I read has a heading titled “Think Thank Thunk – Dealing with the fear of being a boring teacher.”  I was drawn to this blog because I, too, worry about being a boring teacher.  I want to make the classroom a fun and engaging place for my students to learn.  I want to think outside of the box and come up with new ways to teach and learn old concepts, and this blog seemed dedicated to that idea.

The author’s posts discuss his plans for his classes and ways he is going to try to make learning interactive and engaging.  He also wrote about how he would grade the students throughout the semester.  I really enjoyed reading his thoughts on students participation and trying to tap into the imagination and thought processes of his students.  So often, it seems that teachers stick to the old curriculum because it is safe, easier, and often required.  The author of that blog seems to really think about ways to have his students take control of their own learning and really be involved in the material they are studying.  For example, the author’s post entitled “Rocks & Weather: Getting My Qualitative On” talks about how he wants to get the students involved in the learning process, giving them few instructions and hoping they will let their curiosity and imagination guide them in their learning.  I love the idea of allowing the students’ curiosity to grow and develop into real, engaged learning.

The purpose of the blog seems to be to share thoughts, throw around ideas, and get input from readers.  Sometimes the author poses questions to his readers.  Many times he describes his plans and writes about some of his ideas.  It seems as though the author uses the blog as a place to get his thoughts out and also to connect with other people.  I think the author is very effective in achieving his purpose.  I was encouraged by reading his posts to think outside of the box when I teach, and I noticed that he received many comments from fellow teachers and readers in response to his thoughts and questions.

The second blog I read is titled “Langwitches Blog – The Magic of Learning.”  This blog seems to be about languages and technology integration, as the author worked as a World Language teacher, Technology Integration Facilitator, and a 21st Century Learning Specialist.  I thought this blog would be very interesting to read in conjunction with this course.

The purpose of the blog seems to be to share ideas with other teachers and to promote the author’s passions in the area of education.  I found that the author is very effective in sharing her thoughts on the subjects she is interested in and posts about.  She often includes links to other sites or some kind of picture or audio or video clip to reinforce or illustrate her points.  I really like the idea of linking other sites because it provides the opportunity for readers to read more about the subject she is blogging about if they are interested.  Also, the clips and pictures make the blog more interesting and engaging.

For example, the first post I read includes the video we watched in this course about copyright laws.  I found it somewhat amusing that the first post in the blog relates to what we are studying in SLM508.  And, had I not already seen the clip, I know I would have found it very helpful and amusing to watch and perhaps include it in a lesson I may prepare for my students.  Instead of just stating her ideas, the author backs the ideas up and gives helpful hints to other teachers.

Finally, the last of the three educator blogs I read is called “Finding Ways for All Kids to Flourish.”  This blog seems to be focused on sharing thoughts and helpful resources and ideas for teachers.  She also includes audio clips, video clips, and pictures.  I noticed on the most recent post of the blog, “Just the Right Amount of Challenge“, the author introduces the topic with a few written sentences, then attaches an audio clip of her discussing her thoughts on the matter of the right amount of challenge for students.  I thought it was kind of a neat idea to include audio and video of the author, it gives the blog a more personal touch.

The author seems to post about anything related to being an educator that she happens to be thinking about at the time.  Topics range from bullying to visual reminders, from connecting with students and teachers across the globe to promoting a positive climate in the classroom.  I like the relaxed, personal feel of the blog.  The author has a detailed description of who she is and what she does which gives the reader insight into her life and area of expertise.

I feel as though the purpose of the blog (to throw around thoughts and inform readers) is effectively met through the clear writing and back up of pictures and clips.  I noticed that this blogger does not to seem to have as many followers and does not update as often as the other bloggers I explored today.  The comments on her posts range from zero to less than ten.  I wonder if it is because the author does not update as often as the other bloggers…  I did, however, find the blog interesting and containing helpful ideas related to teaching.

My ideas on blogging…

I think it is a great idea to use blogs to connect with and learn from other teachers.  There are so many wonderful ideas and creative teachers, that it would be a great shame to not use blogs to share and tap into those resources.  Even though I am studying to teach English, I still find it interesting to read blogs by teachers of different subjects.  Even though the material is very different, I’ve found I can still learn a lot from them and even use a modified version of some of their ideas.

I will incorporate blogs into my own experience as a teacher by starting and maintaining a blog containing my thoughts, ideas, questions, and even struggles.  I will also build connections with other teachers online so that we can exchange ideas and help each other grow and improve the effectiveness of our teaching.  I would also mention the idea of blogging to fellow teachers and encourage them to check it out, telling them the benefits I have experienced from being a part of that online community.  It’s important to always be growing and learning as a teacher, and I believe using blogs and connecting with other teachers would greatly aid that development and growth.

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About SLM508 - Sarah Miller

I am a graduate student in McDaniel College's BEST program. I have been teaching English as a foreign language to students in South Korea since 2006. English is my love and teaching is my passion. View all posts by SLM508 - Sarah Miller

2 responses to “Reviewing three educator blogs…

  • ceecee88

    I agree that teachers need to change up there way of teaching every so often. If you are a boring teacher your students will learn nothing. I also think that as new teachers we have so much competition that we continually have to show school systems that we are always trying to find news ways to engage our students.

  • shawnlees

    I learned a lot from your review, and not just about the blogs. I like how you made certain words and titles hyperlinks within the post. I need to do that instead of just plunking down the big long website address. It makes the text break apart.

    Also, you mentioned a blog I wanted to check out more: Langwitches. Like you said, it was interesting that the most recent post was about teaching kids copyright issues. Plus she is a foreign language teacher. Some of our foreign language teachers ask for more technology-based resources or don’t know how to apply technology beyond the basics. Maybe this site could help.

    Finding Ways for All Kids to Flourish is going to be a site I check out. The title catches my eye, and from your description, it seems like I would like the personal style. Did you feel like her posts/resources she shared helped teachers or were really valuable?

    Thanks for some great information!

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