Internet literacy for today's educator includes RSS, social bookmarking (furl, del.icio.us, etc.), photo sharing (flickr) and maybe other media like podcasting (audioblogger, ipodder, etc.). And, of course, all of these technologies are integrated in that most powerful communication/reflection tool: blogs. Yeah, I've left out wikis, vimeo, videoblogging, moblogging and probably a whole lot more. It seems to me that the "basic course" on edublogging is pretty well covered in that first list.
Yet, once you jump in, you accomodate the technology and how to integrate it into your daily teaching. In my classroom blog some students have really taken to this new technology. Two students even said they'd rather not do their written homework; the additional exercises I post to the blog make up their prefered way of studying. When I read their posts (here and here) I thought: "Cool! Blogging really works!"
I've spent countless hours learning these technologies; thinking about them; thinking about their pedagogical applications; thinking about how to structure it and make it work; planning my posts and posting my posts. Now it's gratifying to see it pay off.
I decided that I would start small. Just one class. Get all my ideas on the table and modify it next time through the course. The reaction of my students, administration and other teachers in the edublogosphere has been overwhemingly encouraging and motivating. I'm at the point where I think everyone in education should have a blog; every teacher, principal, guidance councellor and superintendant. Rip! Mix! Learn! Blogs make it happen. My students, in particular, make it really exciting. They've never had a class like this before. The novelty of the medium is another motivating factor for them.
On our classroom blog I've got a couple of links that are more for educators who visit than they are for my students:
Why We Blog....
My kids really are members of Generations N & M; a new species. ;-) They spend so much time on the computer. They're spending some of that "free" time doing math! Yes! Success! Learning for the sake of learning! Ba da ba ba baaaa! I'm lovin' it!
Now I'm thinking about next year; my other classes. I have five different courses I'm teaching this semester. Four last semester. I want to have a blog for every course that I teach. BAM! .... time .... Where will I find the time? Well, given the tremendous benefits for everyone involved, maybe I just have to Seize the time!
Now I'm thinking five years into the future. In each of the 7 or 9 different classes I teach each year I have a blog. BAM! .... time .... for me .... my family .... All the other teachers at my school have integrated blogs into their classes as well. BAM! .... time .... for our students ....
The only person that I'm aware of who is in the planning stages of edublogging on a massive scale is Scott Moore. I eagerly await the results of his experiment in education.
For now I'm left wondering: Is it universally sustainable over the long term? What will be the difference between now and when all this fantastic new technology becomes commonplace? Can I sustain 7 to 9 different blog supported courses each year? Can our students keep up with 10 blog supported classes each year? Can we really make this work? I hope so.