Share Your Blogging Experience & Tips For Participants From Open PD

Share Your Blogging Experience & Tips For Participants From Open PD

247807303_132355739d_m.jpgGreat news!!! I’ve been asked by Robin Ellis and Darren Draper to talk about blogging with educators participating in Open PD.

Slight problem! Minor really — hardily worth mentioning but it’s at 5.00 am tomorrow morning my time (their local time of 5-6 pm US Eastern Time Zone on Wednesday April 9).

Time for a confession — I’m not good at waking up in the morning. I never hear the alarm go off when it wakes up my hubby. So I’m enlisting hubby’s help to make sure I’m awake on time. He’s not 100 % reliable at this either forgetting or, worse still, waking me way too early to find out what time I want to be woken up. Image by VanitasPhotography.

So I’m thinking perhaps I could also get you to help out in two ways?

1. Join us for Open PD

Open PD session is from 5-6 pm US Eastern Time Zone on Wednesday April 9. I would love you to share your thoughts on blogging and help out if hubby forgets to wake me up.

Anyone and everyone are welcome. Ustream and Skype (here is the link so you can join the session) to encourage global participation. I always gain so much from attending these Open PD session.

2. Share Your Blogging Experience & Tips For New Bloggers

I like to stress that the most important aspect of blogging, and where the true learning happens, is in the conversations. So I’m hoping you will write a comment on this post or write your post (which links to this post) so I can show them how blogging conversations work.

So can you please tell us about:

  • Where you blog and how long you have been blogging for?
  • Why you blog? How does it benefit you or your work?
  • How blogging has helped your students and how long have you been blogging with students (if applicable)
  • Why you feel blogging is important
  • What are the 3 most important tips you would share with a new blogger?


Thanks for helping out :). Open PD will be talking about blogging for the next two weeks (April 9 & 16) so there is plenty of time for you to add your thoughts to be part of this conversation.

And if you’re enjoying this blog, please consider Subscribing for free!

37 thoughts on “Share Your Blogging Experience & Tips For Participants From Open PD

  1. Hi Sue
    Well, I am a chrysalis blogger….
    I’ve been buried in my cocoon carefully cultivating the time and ability to blog – however, it is a seductive place……

    I have been blogging for about a year – nearly – however, I’m in no way a model example – I blog in flurries, and have two blogs – one is work related – simple how tos for staff that need assistance with technologies, the other is my personal blog.

    It’s the personal one that’s fun. It actually helps me clarify my ideas re: organisational change and technology. Sometimes in finding an entertaining and simple way to frame a complex challenge – I find the key to communicating complex information in accessible ways. Blogging has taught me this.

    Why is it important – well for me, blogging allows me to share knowledge, to participate in knowledge sharing, and to compare viewpoints. Often the result is a truly innovative or unique approach. For me blogging exemplifies Networks of Practice. It is a way of navigating through information, of forming perspectives – of participating in knowledge creation – heady stuff!

    THe three most important tips – oooooh hard call.

    1. Don’t start of with a concept of the type of blogger you’ll become – allow it to evolve.

    2. Don’t stress when it evolves in fits and starts.

    3. Don’t be scared – it’s a great way to find a voice, and to participate in the world.

  2. 3 most important tips;

    1. Don’t be afraid to have a voice -the blogging community is extremely supportive.

    2.Remember to link to other bloggers and acknowledge your sources – you get wonderful feedback, establish contacts and give credit where credit is due.

    3. Try not to become obsessive about posting (I’m not a good example in this respect!!)

  3. I’m so excited to be your first commenter! I would love to respond to this. My blog:

    I’ve been blogging since 2005 and my blog, although always related to educational technology, has taken on different tones over the years. Sometimes I even post items of a more personal nature (not terribly personal, just family related perhaps). I blog for a few reasons. First, because I love to write. Writing allows me to sort through the thoughts that run wildly through my head. I also blog because I read other people’s blogs and it gives me a chance to respond, beyond commenting, and provide my own vision to the conversation. Sometimes, depending on the application the bloggers use, you can or can not provide links in your comments. When I blog, I can enhance my portion of the discussion with images and links, further clarifying my points and providing my readers and opportunity to explore further. This takes me to my readers. I don’t get many comments, which at first caused me to think that nobody was “listening.” I then found a few ways to monitor the traffic on my site. I found that I was indeed getting many readers, sometimes a few hundred in a day. I learned that there are many people who “lurk” but don’t comment for many reasons. My experience has taught me that it is ok to lurk and often I also am a lurker. 🙂

    What I love about the blogging is exactly what you are experiencing right now. It’s a learning experience where I learn from others and others (hopefully learn from me). There’s a conversation that can continue and loop around. A good example is a “meme.” Check out the meme quilt that went around the blogs a little while back. I was tagged with it, sent it on, and I’m still seeing posts about all over the place. It’s difficult to explain, but if you want to take a look, click here:

    Tricks to blogging: blog often, blog from the heart, refer back to other bloggers often (when appropriate) and join Twitter or another social network where you can learn from a terrific educational network like mine (

    Good luck!

  4. 1. Where you blog and how long you have been blogging for?
    My blog is at and I have been blogging since January (a relative newbie).
    2. Why you blog? How does it benefit you or your work?
    I work with faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University, helping them integrate technology into their teaching and learning. I had discussed blogs for several years, lurked on the edges reading other blogs, but not done it myself, and felt a need to start. I find that it is a very reflective medium personally, but more important, it connects me to others reflecting on the same issues I am. I had not recognized just how social a personal journal can be.
    3. How blogging has helped your students and how long have you been blogging with students (if applicable)
    My grad students this semester have reported that it helps them know me better. I have not (yet) required my students to blog, but I see potential benefits. One issue is that blogging is highly personal and therefore may suffer if “required.”
    4. Why you feel blogging is important
    It is an integral part of my Personal Learning Environment. I discover new knowledge every single day by following blogs that I consider relevant.
    5. What are the 3 most important tips you would share with a new blogger?
    – Read other blogs. I use RSS feeds to Google Reader to track the twenty or so blogs that I routinely follow – like Sue Waters’ blog.
    – Use something like Google Docs to save notes to self of things you want to blog about.
    – Make blogging part of your routine. I do not try and blog daily, but I do blog at least 3 times a week. I blog for myself…but I am now mindful that there is a global readership to my blog, even as new to blogging as I am. People are interested in what you have to say.

  5. Blogging is about publishing content AND getting it discussed. Any content that is not discussed have little value for me as I have very little way to identify if what the publisher write is valid or not.
    When I read blogs, I attach a very big importance to the conversation and usually track this conversation if the post is interesting for me.
    Commenting is also publishing, so every blogger should participate in conversation on his blog as well as on other blogs.
    And, blogging is also being humble: bloggers that do not participate in the conversation on their blog make a big mistake. Maybe what was written in the post was (partially) wrong: in this case the blogger should make a point in accepting it.

  6. I think it’s important to make a distinction between your private/social blogging and your professional blogging (and keep it!). It’s kind of like the difference between social networking and educational networking. My friends and I have been blogging (livejournaling) since the early naughties, and I find that to be a very different experience to blogging for (and with) colleagues. When I’ve tried to mix it up, and I’ve livejournaled about work/research… it just hasn’t worked! And I don’t want my colleagues to discover what I *really* did on the weekend (that sort of unintended information discovery is what Facebook is for, dontcha know!).

  7. Where you blog and how long you have been blogging for?

    My blog is called ExploratoryLearner – The Real Deihl

    I experimented with blogging about a year ago, but it is my work and connections with others over the past 3 months which makes me aware of the real value. See my early post 2nd Life as a Blogger at

    Why you blog? How does it benefit you or your work?

    Blogging gives me the opportunity to reflect on issues which I feel are relevant to teaching, learning, and the exploration of technologies to assist in both. It allows me to voice my thoughts, share experiments and invite others to comment. Although my readership is small, I have managed to connect with others whom I greatly respect and admire, and who have led me to many interesting resources. Through these contacts, I have come to realize that I do have a voice and that others are interested in my thoughts and perspective. Friendships and a sense of community support have developed through blogging.

    What are the 3 most important tips you would share with a new blogger?

    1. Look around and find a few people who share a common interest.

    2. Keep it simple. Don’t feel like you must read a large number of blogs. Learn from the valuable links and networks provided by bloggers who share your interests. Subscribe to a handful of blogs and see where they might lead you. This will guide you to new subscriptions.

    3. Don’t be afraid to voice your thoughts. Use this as a public personal learning environment.

  8. I blog with my Year 4 class at school and have a family blog to keep in touch with my eldest son who is on a Year’s Rotary exchange in Sweden.
    I started my school blog with my class half way through last year and their teachers this year have continued to blog with their students. I started the family blog in February and it links to the blog my son has of his experiences in Sweden.

    Whilst everything about blogging is still fairly new to me I haven’t blogged about my experiences with blogging and Web 2.0 tools on a personal level.

    I have continued to blog with my class this year

    but that meant starting from square one again as none of my students had blogged before. What I noticed last year was that some of my students who really didn’t like writing ere encouraged to write because they got feedback from family, friends and bloggers from around the world. They love to watch the hit counter and clustr map on the blog page. Blogging has also allowed us to keep the students’ families informed about the many activities we take part in both on the web and at school generally.
    The students we teach now are growing up in an ever changing learning environment and I feel a huge responsibility to assist my students’ learning by using up to date tools that will provide them with some of the skills that they will nedd to continue developing throughout their lives.

    The 3 most important tips I would share with a new blogger would be:
    1. Have a go – it’s not difficult.
    2. Read other blogs and make use of all the wonderful bloggers around the world who are only too happy to provide advice and answer questions – via email, twitter, skype etc.
    3. Blog regularly.

  9. I have several blogs – but three are active and regularly updated at (my first blog) started 10 months ago, the second – a collaborative student blog under my administration and with links to individual student blogs, both commenced 8 months ago.
    I commenced blogging as using web2.0 was a criteria of an education grant I had received, otherwise I might still be procrastinating and wondering where to start. It has given me an authentic audience, connected me to a wide social network, improved my personal knowledge by leading to conversations, connected me to the world, mapped my journeys with the emerging technologies and helped others start using web2.0 My students started blogging through a collaborative blog 8 months ago and years 4 to 10 have now established individual blogs 2 months ago.
    There are so many reasons to blog – see my post at
    But in a nutshell, students love to share, it is a powerful learning tool and students have an authentic audience and I find them a highly motivating tool especially as they allow multimedia for multi-literacies. We have just commenced sharing blogs with other countries with powerful learning results
    3 tips –
    1. Start with a personal blog NOW. Do not procrastinate and simply use it as a daily journal which will evolve with experience.
    2. Read other blogs and get ideas, add comments and establish social networks.
    3. Start simply and slowly. I aim to make one post per week as this suits my busy time schedule.

  10. Wow thanks everyone for helping out, I really appreciate it and if you have time your comments have triggered some further questions 🙂

    @Harriet I love how you call blogging “seductive place.” As I know it’s a place you like to visit but are constrained sometimes to visiting due to work and personal pressures. And yet when you do get the opportunities it’s a joyful place. There is nothing wrong with blogging in flurries when you have the time. I also love the sharing of knowledge and I like you love to use it for clarify my ideas. Can you explain what voice means to a person new to blogging?

    @Jenny thanks for sharing the link to your post and I will definitely be writing a follow up post that links to all the posts including yours. I hope you get the opportunity to join us in the morning – or hold the fort if I sleep in. Can you give some examples of how the blogging community has supported you? I’m thinking I’m probably not the best person to talk about not becoming too obsessive however I do try to encourage new bloggers not to make it too hard by having daily postings.

    @Lee I so know the feelings. It’s happened to me so many times. By the time I’ve written my comment and then got slowed down by the antispam word some sneaky blogger has beaten me. Wow that is so cool blogging since 2005. How much do you feel blogging has changed in this time? And how has your blogging changed with time? I wish we could grab all the passing traffic and say please just post one comment cause it means so much. But as you say it is okay to be a lurker too. The passion quilt meme definitely went around and is still going. Excellent tips on blogging. Can you give an example of how you blog from your heart?

    @Britt It took me considerable time to move from reading blogs to having my own blog. But once I started blogging and engaging in conversations I truly started to realise the value of it. I heard that said so often how blogging allows others to know you on a deeper level; this is one of the biggest benefits for blogging in organisations. Being seen as approachable and a real person. I’ve seen courses where lecturers have made blogging a requirements of their Universities studies and it’s been interesting to watch the growth of the individuals. So I would be interested to discuss in more details how blogging might suffer if required. I like your tip of having a routine for blogging.

    @Christophe I totally agree about commenting and conversations. I hope that I always take the time to participate in conversations on my blog and others. I definitely feel frustrated when I take the time to write comments on other bloggers post which they themselves don’t comment back on. Unfortunately there are a lot of well known bloggers who don’t engage on their own blogs. I admit that I’m not the fastest at commenting back on my own posts but that is because I spend a lot of time commenting on other bloggers posts especially people new to blogging. I often learn more when I make mistakes in posts than when I get the information right.

    @Penny (pcoutas) You have made a really interesting point here and it relates to a conversation I’ve had recently with my friend. My personal opinion is that we can only be one person online. She had similar thoughts to you but I don’t think it works. Would love to hear you debate this more with me.

    @Bud It’s funny when I was first starting out everyone used to talk about finding your voice. How would you explain what your voice is to a person new to blogging? Totally agree about friendships and community support. Through my connections with Michele Martin and hers with you and Brit we’ve gotten to know each other and makes these connections. Which are amazing. Great tips – I like your tip of keeping it simple – as I’m an information overload so your tip is a really good one for new people.

    @Jane I love how you explain how reluctant student writers are engaged by blogging and the reasons why it encourages them to write more. It’s amazing how clustr maps and hit counters encourage students as well. I think the biggest barrier people have to “having a go” is they feel they don’t have anything worth saying. Can you share your thoughts on what they could talk about? And why it is worth saying? Also like the idea of connecting up with other bloggers – Can you suggest sites where they could connect with other edubloggers? How often would you recommend a new person blogs?

    @Anne Your post on 20 Reasons why Students should blog is absolutely brilliant and I plan to link to it from the Edublogger. I love how you talk about blogs allowing for multimedia for multiliteracies – excellent point. Excellent tips and also I like the idea of the simple and slowly. How do you recommend new people establish social networks when they are new to Web 2.0 tools. Which tools do you think they would relate to better?

  11. Where you blog and how long you have been blogging for?

    I blog regularly in three places. One is a work blog that is not accessible to the general public. One is for the Discovery Educator Network at and the other is my most recent “baby”. It is called “Cruel Shoes” and can be found at
    I also have a personal blog which gets updated approximately once per quarter!

    Why do you blog?

    I started because I’m a writer and I have a need to write, even if nobody is reading it. The professional blogs I maintain because someone is counting on me to do so. Cruel Shoes was born out of a desire to give new teachers some ammunition to help them through the disillusionments that so often bombard them their first year or two of teaching.

    How does it benefit you or your work?

    Writing is cathartic for me, so Cruel Shoes serves as therapy for myself. The DEN blog and work blogs I maintain benefit me because they get information out to people who need to hear it in a quick and efficient way. Those who are likely to care subscribe to the blog – those who don’t care aren’t bothered by the updates.

    Why you feel blogging is important.

    I think blogging is important because the process of blogging forces you to look at things from the perspective of your readers. It also gives you an opportunity to express yourself, if it is a personal blog, or impart knowledge if it is a professional one.

    What are the 3 most important tips you would share with a new blogger?

    1. Keep trying. Just because nobody is commenting doesn’t mean nobody is reading.

    2. Don’t try to make your blog look or feel like someone else’s. It is your blog, let it take on your personality.

    3. You don’t have to do a post every day or even every week. As long as the updates are meaningful, your readers will appreciate them. They aren’t going down their list of blogs every morning wondering why you haven’t posted a new article.

  12. Where you blog and how long you have been blogging for?
    I’ve been personally blogging since 2003, I think, on I’ve moved personal blogging to a self-hosted WordPress site since then. I also have a new quasi-professional blog about educational technology. . I also microblog at twitter and tumblr.

    Why you blog? How does it benefit you or your work?
    I blog to create and participate in a community of users. Whether it’s a personal interest, blogging allows me to see a wide range of thoughts, ideas, and concepts that I probably would miss on my own. I blog to share the knowledge that I have that others might not, because above all, blogging is a participatory sport.

    How blogging has helped your students and how long have you been blogging with students (if applicable)
    I moved out of the classroom to become an inclusion facilitator in the late ’90s, and currently consult as a special ed teacher, so don’t teach in a classroom.

    Why you feel blogging is important
    It’s important to be part of a community. That’s what being human is about.

    What are the 3 most important tips you would share with a new blogger?
    1-Don’t sweat the small stuff – It will never be perfect. Use that to your advantage.
    2-Write – Consistently put “stuff” on the page, even if it’s a link or web summary. Make sure to take time for it on a regular schedule.
    3-Network – read, join, and comment on other blogs. Make sure to use trackbacks on your own blog.

  13. * Where you blog and how long you have been blogging for? Dec 1, 2007
    * Why you blog? How does it benefit you or your work?
    I needed to figure out what blogging was about, so I figured I had better try it myself. I am a Tech Coordinator, so if I am going to talk about blogging with teachers and how it can benefit them and students, then I best be doing it too.
    * How blogging has helped your students and how long have you been blogging with students (if applicable)
    not applicable yet.
    * Why you feel blogging is important
    The thought process that goes into writing a post is different. I have to think about how it is going to be read by others, interpreted by others.
    * What are the 3 most important tips you would share with a new blogger?
    1) just start
    2)don’t worry about falling behind
    3) don’t worry about if people are reading it or not.

  14. Dear Sue and blogger-friends
    The reason I began blogging around September 07 was because of sheer frustration.

    I had just been released from being honorary web master at my school (Springfield Junior) and all my resources and links from the past 11 years were taken offline. The present site is now mainly a marketing tool: The previous site used to house my Kidspiration resources, current pics and events and useful teaching links for the girls. It was updated weekly.
    The blog I began is at

    I have enjoyed the WordPress interface but unfortunately have not been able to upload the Inspiration and Kidspiration files** I would like to share and would welcome some help here.

    So – last year I blogged in order to find a single place where all the Nings, Word press, Face Book, Delicious, Net Vibes and other resources could easily be aggregated for personal use. I have not been blogging regularly this year but am sure that this article above will inspire me again.

    I would love to share my resources but my staff have not really shared in my excitement. A Web 2.0 workshop next week with Linda Langford and Di Laycock might change their mind!

    My blogging has helped me to feel confident about teaching through wikis with my students and their class wiki has in turn encouraged many of them to create their own. We use PB Wiki very successfully.

    It’s the bloggers I respect, like Judy O’Connell and Sue W who have given me the self-confidence to go ahead and begin.

    Three important tips:
    Keep trying until you find the interface that works (I’m still at this phase!!).
    Join Twitter – its brilliant to see what is happening around you. I could stay up all night just following all the links that the twitterati I follow have provided me.
    Join Diigo and/or Delicious so you have a place to store all these wonderful resources.

    I’d particularly welcome any assistance with my problem above **
    Carolynn Bruton

  15. Thank you.

    First, thanks to all of you that have provided such thoughtful comments. The comments in this post alone would make an excellent summary post for new bloggers – great advice from a variety of experience.

    Second, thanks Sue and the rest that joined in on the class. The OpenPD conversation that we held today was one of the best – highly educational for all that participated. The contribution that you brought to the class today, Sue, is a shining example for all.

    For those interested, the session will be archived on the OpenPD site.

  16. Hey Sue –
    I think that ‘voice’ can mean different things to different people. For me, it’s finding the way to express ideas I feel strongly about, or am interested in, in a way which is clear, and hopefully entertaining.

    Also, voice is the relationship you want to have with people – do you want to be seen as a ‘guru’ or an ‘explorer’. What types of relationships do you want to have with your readers.

    One of the great benefits of blogging for me, has been the ability to use my blogging voice in my face to face dealings with everything from bureaucracy to creativity.

    It’s fun 🙂

  17. @Brit thanks for providing those links especially since I realised I should add my blogs to the list of Blogs on educational blogging – which I’ve now done.

    @Chad thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and tips via your comments on Lee’s blog and writing your own post. As I said in my comment on your post “I think your point ” I have done more professional reading over the last year and a half (my time Blogging) than I did in the previous five years.” is something I hadn’t thought a lot about but you are so right — I’ve done way more reading since I’ve been a blogger which has made me think and reflect more than I had previously. Definitely the reading part is an important aspect of blogging. I loved reading your post on “Okay I’m addicted” — I’m not the person to be talking about not letting it consume you :)”.

    @Elaine WOW I have two blogs which is hard work and just picturing your three blogs makes my mind boggle. I know so many people who blog because of their passion for writing. Words and language have always been hard for me; so I have been amazed by my own enjoyment of writing blog posts and how much it has helped me. I will never be able to write with the colorful words that some bloggers use and will always struggle if they write this style but I do enjoy blogging. Agreed just because someone doesn’t comment doesn’t mean people aren’t reading. Great advice from someone who has three blogs – people don’t realise how often you blog unless it’s really infrequent or your very prolific. Provided you write posts that are meaningful to them they will keep reading.

    @Rob This is what I wrote on your post – thanks for taking the time to write a post. “Hi Rob – thanks for being patient and waiting for my blog to come back online. Also thanks for taking the time to write this post, comment on Lee’s post and my post. Yep I’m a twitter-a-holic but still haven’t got into using Tumblr. Can you tell me a bit more about how you use tumblr and how it fits between blogging & twitter for you? Wow 2003 how much do you feel blogging has changed from 2003 to now? I like your tip of don’t sweat on the small stuff — sometimes the best posts are the ones that are slightly wrong and these create the greatest connection with your readers. Also like the writing and network tips – I have very set routines for blogging — so aren’t going to cope well when I go away next week :(.”

    @Chris Thanks for joining us at Open PD (hope you coped with my accent – tried to talk slower but hard when you’re really tired). Welcome to blogging and you started blogging for very similar reason to me. I was originally a podcaster but eventually found I had more knowledge than I could share on my podcast site. So set up a wiki then as that grew I found I had even more but also wanted to reflect more. Plus I was faciliating professional development and decided that I needed to understand it if I had any hope of using it with students or showing others the value of blogging. So totally right about the thought process when writing – and it actually reinforces your learning which increases my memory of conversations. I think the hardest part is always getting started and understanding why you should blog. What advice do you give teachers to make them want to start blogging? Thanks for writing a post about Open PD.

    @Carolynn Thanks for joining us this morning – sorry about the accent and talking to fast. What type of files are the kidsipration? Perhaps if you tell us more about them we might have some ideas on how to share on your blog. My blogging goes in fits and bursts. Sometimes I just don’t want to blog and other times the posts are fighting to get out. When I get a bit reluctant to blog I will force myself only to ensure my momentum starts again. I’ve accepted for a long time that people within my own organisation don’t always share my passion so am more than happy to connect with people globally to help them. I soooo love Judy O’Connell — she has always been so supportative and I count her as my mentor. She helps so many people. I like the tip on bookmarking – I use both sites but also am lazy and use my Google Reader because I know I can easy search for the posts there. Let us know more about the files and hopefully we will have ideas.

    @Sarah it was so good for you to join us this morning for Open PD. The 31 Day project was definitely my defining and turning point in blogging. I learnt so much from doing the project and where I’m at with blogging is a direct result of taking the time to do the 31 Day project. Congratulations Sarah at completing it and you’ve grown so much as a blogger in the time I’ve known you. I always look forward to reading your great posts because you share such a fantastic humour in them.

    @Darren thanks to both you and Robin for inviting us all in to share our thoughts on blogging with Open PD. Everyone has done an amazing job – and I need to write a post just to show how incredible the conversation has been from this topic – not only on this post but spanning across posts and comments on several different blogs. Connecting a range of blogging communities together. You always say it’s the best when I join you — that is just that we are friends. I really struggled with 5 am and only started to make sense when 6 am happened. Imagine how much more sense I could make if your session was at night my time :). Thanks for archiving the session.

    @Harriet thanks for taking the time to respond back and tell me about your thoughts on voice. I’m beginning to think the whole topic of voice would make an excellent blog post with readers encourage to share their thoughts on what voice is as a blogger. If any one wants to go ahead and write the posts – go for it. I’ve only got 2 days until life without Internet begins :(.

  18. I am relatively new to blogging
    and started to gain experience, PD and be able to pass onto students what I gained/learned. My tips to new bloggers would be:

    1. read other blogs in a subject area that interests you; subscribe to them and post comments
    2. write about something that you are passionate about, that interests you, that you learn about; be yourself.
    3. let others know about your blog, if you write about something interesting you have read on a blog, link back to the original source.

    Blogging is a great learning experience for students. Anne has a great post on reasons to blog


  19. Sue, thanks for this invitation. You have written an inspiring post and the comments you have elicited add even more. Yo are so right that the value of blogging is in the conversations and the affordances of blogging lead to greater communication and understanding. When I first started blogging I knew I had to introduce my students to it so I did a presentation on “Why Blog with Students” that is available on at
    Feel free to use it. Right now I am hoping to visit Paul Harrington in Wales if we can work out a meeting time. Blogging is amazing. I also wanted to thank you for your comment. I won’t know the prognosis on my eye till I get back. The doctor was hopeful that I could be in remission for a long time, but he said I would always be subject to it. Luckily I can still read but distance vision is a bit compromised atm. Anyway you are doing amazing work and are so inspirational. Thank you.

  20. I have two main blogs:
    The Next Step which is my ed/ideas blog
    The First Day of Kindergarten which is my 2.0 Projects blog for students

    I started blogging for my students over a year ago and started blogging for myself about 9 months ago. My personal/education/ ideas blog started out as a way for me to get out my frustrations about my charter school and I quickly realized that wasn’t going to do anyone any good except for me and moved on. I teach at an ONLINE charter school in which the majority of the teachers do not use any technology besides Office and our CMS. So, I started blogging about my uses of technology and what I was learning online.

    One of my student blogs is just about Web 2.0 tools. I’ve created a collection of easy to use tutorials and suggestions for my online students. The kids don’t really comment on that blog so there isn’t much of a community, its just a resource center for my kids to access when they want to learn a new way to do a project in my courses.

    I have another student blog that I have set up more as a discussion board, where kids comment in a stream below my post. But I’m having trouble getting more kids to participate and to read the comments of their fellow students.

    I am teaching a Web 2.0 course next semester in which all of my students will be required to have blogs. Im hoping that I can create a blogging community from that.

    Blogging allows me to put down my thoughts when I get excited about something. It allows me to share with people who have similar interests as me and that is not always an easy thing to do.

    One suggestion, find the right platform before you get started. I chose Blogger for my personal blog because I used it for my student project blog. Im not happy with it and want to move my blog to another platform but that sounds scary. BTW, any suggestions out there? CNelson suggested edublogs in OPEN PD yesterday.

  21. @Marie Thanks for taking the time to sharing your blogging tips and experience. I totally agree with you Anne’s post on reasons for student to blog is excellent. I especially like your tip #2 “write about something that you are passionate about, that interests you, that you learn about; be yourself.” Excellent point about being yourself — great advice to new bloggers.

    @Jo I hope you are having a great holiday. Thanks for all the nice words. Also thanks for sharing the link to the SlideShare you created to explain why blog with students — it’s excellent. I’m sorry that issues with your eyes are effecting your vision but it is great news about catching up with people in the UK.

    @Cory I really like your First Day of Kindergarten blog and loved seeing your photo since I can now visualise you. It will be interesting to see how the students interact with the blogging and if you are able to form a community. I’m assuming that your students are fully online and you don’t necessarily meet f2f, if that is the case it must be very challenging. I would love to hear more about how your programs work.

    @Rob did you say Alaska? That is a far way from anywhere? Hadn’t thought of using Tumblr for moblogging — might have to check it out.

  22. Once blogging is established, it is time to develop a social network, as one of the greatest satisfactions of blogging is finding out there is an authentic audience. Conversations then flow.
    To establish a social network, my advice (using my experience) is to
    join or other like minded site, where many friends can be made. Make sure your blog url is placed on your about me section.
    read others blogs and comment on them. The best bloggers will email back with thanks and curious ones will visit your blog and take note
    join twitter – one of the best ways of establishing a network. You can notify people when you put up a new post.
    add your url to the bottom of your signatures on all your emails
    join in global projects where you gain valuable contacts and share blog addresses (eg technospuds, globalschoolnet) etc
    get your students to comment on your blogs (they enjoy doing that)

  23. oops…. I should have added some more on how to get comments or people reading your blogs, there are a number of wikis (google might find them) where you can add your blog addresses. These exist for individual countries and for global bloggers.
    Make sure you add tags and categories to all your blog posts so that the search engines can pick up content

  24. Sue,

    I have been blogging since April 5, 2008 at

    I have known about blogging for a long time, but was under the impression that the practice was mostly for narcissists and that few people read other people’s blogs.

    Little did I know that I already had been bitten by the bug, I just wasn’t using the right medium. I have been writing a weekly column for a local newspaper mostly about technology related topics.

    My eyes were opened at the South By Southwest Conference, which incidentally I learned about through a podcast that I listen to. There I learned about the power of blogging, and decided to give it a shot when I discovered this month.

    I was amazed to have nearly 100 people visit my blog within the first few days. I have no idea what my readership in the newspaper is, but I suspect it isn’t much beyond that figure.

    I have learned so much over the past few days and weeks. I can’t wait to begin using it as a teaching tool.

  25. @Anne Excellent point about getting people to know about your site. As a new blogger people don’t know about your blog so joining Classroom 2.0 is a good way about people learning about what you do and a way for people to find your blog. I’ve tried to add my name to my emails but in Gmail they make it hard. It’s really easy to create a cool email signature using MyBlogLog. Regarding search engines the best method of getting picked up is using a variation of key terms within your post – as they search within your body of text.

    @Bill it’s very easy to be infected by the blogging bug. Welcome to Edublogs and if you need any help please don’t hesitate to ask.

  26. thanks for all the tips guys. I am a new blogger, I have only begun back in March as a compulsory uni assignment. Beofre that I had never really heard of blogs, it has been a steep learning curve and words of expericne are always appreciated. check out my blog [email protected]

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