Should educators and students blog? I’ve been an advocate of blogging for years. I don’t consider myself an expert or even a proficient writer. I’m a librarian who could teach English not an English teacher or a Creative Writing instructor or even a Journalism coach; however, I do coach many others in the mechanics and the experience of blogging and social media platforms. Blogs can serve educators in many ways. From personal journals to editorials and of course publishing tools for teaching strategies. One superintendent I follow, Culture of Yes, is not just a good writer but a thinker. His community is stronger by his sharing. He does take a risk- a political risk of opinions, etc. but he also builds consensus and can motivate change.
There are pitfalls. I’ve made my share. One issue for me is finding the boundary of personal and occupational. Here I write as a professional teacher-librarian from the KSS Learning Commons. I’m modeling for a colleague. I will cross-post on my own blog( a no no ) to make a point of how roles can get blurry. This IS VERY IMPORTANT. Not just for circulation but for integrity. Our students- especially journalism students need to discuss and study this new digital publishing reality. Whether it’s Facebook posts, Linked in resumes, or Pinterest albums, protecting integrity and privacy while sharing is important.
I don’t think we should avoid writing in the public sphere because there is risk. We need to manage the risks and learn. Improve. Teach. Share. Learn some more. Isn’t all in the interest of communication? I think blogging has virtue because it provides greater scope and a timeline for writing quality not found in brief, fast tweets or updates. Teachers of English, Journalism, Social Studies, Sciences, heck everyone….can use blogs to enrich their classroom learning experience. Even our Library is a stronger place with avenues to engage beyond the shelves. This is the power of our age.
– Al Smith