Sunday, March 01, 2009

Collaboration and Innovation

I guess this can be my first DEN event as a new STAR Discovery Educator (still waiting for the welcome packet). I am preparing for an informal blogging orientation for several teachers in my school.

For some reasons, after I won the national blogging competition and helped our Math Coach create her blog, several teachers got interested in using this technology to collaborate and disseminate information through blogging. As teachers of a High Tech Middle School Campus (hey, we need a school website!), I believe we should integrate 21st century technology in our teaching as we embrace our 21st century students. Web 2.o, Web 3.0, Web's all there for us educators, all we have to do is to CREATE and INNOVATE!!!

According to David Warlick in his blog Weblogg-ed, there are three kinds of teacher bloggers:

- independent teacher bloggers, whose writing is completely unrelated to their job with your school or district;

- professional teacher bloggers, who write in their capacity as teachers in your school or district; and

- instructional teacher bloggers, who blog as an instructional strategy, usually encouraging their students to blog, too.

I will try my best to encourage the teachers in my school to be professional in using their blogs as another instructional tool.

For independent teacher bloggers I found an article, this was published in Weblogg-ed in 2005, but I think some teachers who are new bloggers will find this useful --"Teachers...Think Before You Blog":

  • 1. Decide carefully if you want to create a public space for your ideas with your name on it. Maybe going anonymous would be better. There are a couple of great anonymous teacher blogs out there, Hipteacher among them.
  • 2. When you write, assume it will be read by the very people you may not want to read it. Think about the consequences.
  • 3. As much as possible, blog on your own time with your own equipment.
  • 4. Tell the truth. If you can’t, don’t write.
  • 5. Ask people’s permission before you write about them in your blog, especially if it revolves around some struggle that you might feel worth reflecting upon or sharing with your audience.
  • 6. If you do use a blog for professional reflection or opinion, my personal wish is that you take the time to present those ideas well. I’m not perfect when it comes to misspellings or errors, but I try to read everything at least twice if not three times before publishing.
  • 7. Start simple, and find your groove. If you just post about news and don’t add much in the way of commentary at the start, it will give you time to develop your voice.
  • 8. Again, if you decide to blog openly, don’t try to hide that fact from peers or supervisors.
  • 9. If you think people may have an issue with your blog, ask first, and make your decisions based on the feedback you get.
  • 10. If you find yourself looking over your shoulder, don’t blog.
I hope this helps *wink*.

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