I discovered blogging about a year and a half ago when I suddenly had some extra time on my hands. I had broken my pelvis in a freak toboggan accident (true story!) and ended up off work for about 4 months!

While I was recovering, I decided to spend that extra down time catching up on some of the technological advancements that had passed me by. I had started facebook while on maternity leave years before and enjoyed the social connection it gave me. It was nice to be back around the ‘water cooler’ rather than feeling so isolated. So now, with more time off but no baby to care for nor physical capacity to do any home projects, I turned again to my computer, this time to do some professional development that I hoped would serve me well when I got back to teaching.

In those months of laying around between physio appointments and day-time talk-shows, I investigated Twitter, Pinterest, Skype, iPads and started this blog as a practice blog. Here’s a quote from my ED TEch page from back when I started:

BLOGGING- I think this technology has me most captivated! Through tweets, Facebook posts, and random surfing I have found links to many amazing educators with inspiring blogs and uses for blogs. I am working hard to get this personal blog up and running as a practice for a future classroom blog. I have spent A LOT of time trying to create my site but I’m really enjoying the process! My next step is to develop my blogroll, link in some resources and figure out this business of RSS feeds.

Though my initial reason for starting this blog was to practise for a classroom blog, I found that it provided me an avenue to voice some of the personal, professional and parenting struggles I was experiencing as well as some of my triumphs along the way. It became my new ‘journal’, edited for public consumption of course, to share my feelings and work out my thoughts. It was nice to be tapping that creative part of me that I had put to the side for awhile while I was busy parenting and teaching.

As you can see from my archives I have not been a faithful blogger since then but have recently revisited blogging for a class I’m taking. It’s so nice to be writing again, even with the idea of assessment ever present in the background. It’s also neat to get the occasional comment from an old friend or random internet surfer! What an amazing feeling to know that someone you don’t even know took the time to read your post and make a connection with you by commenting. So cool! I can see how valuable a writing tool ‘audience’ can be, especially for students just getting started. What a great way to support their literacy development through blogging!

We aren’t quite ready to implement student blogging in our grade two class this fall (we’ve got our hands full just settling in to our new routines!) but I am looking forward to adding this to our skill set as the year progresses. I know they will be just as thrilled as I am when they finally click publish button picand share what they’ve got with the world.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. Crystal says:

    NIce! I’m glad that you did this! your putting yourself “out there”. I’m picking up what your putting down. 🙂

  2. Sue Waters says:

    Thanks for sharing your story on how you started blogging! Sounds like a scary freak toboggan accident. But it is great to hear that focusing on your professional development helped while you recovered.

    One aspect that I didn’t covered during the session which is worth mentioning is student blogging doesn’t necessarily need to involve students having their own student blogs. There are lots of great examples of students gaining from blogging where it is all done on the class blog.

    Linda Yollis is a great example of a teacher who has decided what she does and doesn’t have time for, and focuses on what she is trying to achieve. Students interact with her blog by leaving comments on the class blog, interacting with other class room blogs and writing posts for the class blog ( http://yollisclassblog.blogspot.com.au/ ). Occasionally she has a student who wants their own student blog and if a student blog is set up it is managed by the parent (not her).

    Best of luck with your course!

    Sue @suewaters

    • mybrainstorm says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and reply Sue! Much appreciated! You did mention the steps to start student blogging usually begin with a class blog followed by having students comment then create their own blogs. I am most definitely interested in getting there but my job share partner and I are working out the how and when. She has introduced Twitter and Remind with our class which I am jumping onto. I’m hoping to start up a class blog in the next few months but can’t commit the time right now to make it a part of my digital project for this class. However, as I tweeted to my colleagues, the biggest take-away for me about class blogging is audience! I am so excited when people visit my blog or comment so I know the students will be over the moon! I’ll keep you posted about our blogging journey when we get there. Thanks again for reading:)

      • Sue Waters says:

        Many of our teachers with class blogs use both Twitter and Remind. They find them very helpful. If you do set up a class blog, or have a class web stie, I recommend that you add the Twitter widget and Remind widget to the sidebar. Teachers that use these services say it helps having the Tweets and Reminds displaying in the sidebar as it helps those parents that want to check the latest information shared without needing to follow on Twitter.

      • mybrainstorm says:

        Thanks Sue! The Twitter and Remind widgets sound like a great addition to the class blog and maybe less confusing to parents so they can have everything in one spot if they want it. I appreciate your interest:)

  3. I’ve had a blog since 2003. And, while I don’t blog as often as I used to, it has been one of the most valuable processes in my entire career. It’s an excellent reflective activity, and as well, it’s wonderful to be able to look back through ‘my brain’ years later and see how my views on education and life have changed.

    Also, wow … freak accident. That looks nasty! I want to know more!

    • mybrainstorm says:

      Ha! yes, it was a very unexpected end to a family day at Mount Pleasant! Let’s see…the short version…icy hill, my first time on a bigger than me tube (read ‘no ability to stop’), and a disguised snowboard ramp at the bottom! After many attempts trying to get up on my own and assisted I left in an ambulance. The EMTs were just glad I was at the bottom of the hill;)!

      Thanks for reading.

    • mybrainstorm says:

      PS Inadvertently learned what a pingback is through the writing of this post! Another serendipitous accident;)

  4. I understand your concern about starting blogging with your class. I am going to begin this month for my project. I have created a letter to send home, set up a class on edublogs and feel that I am ready to go. I now have the task of getting my grade twos to login to the computers independently. This is the biggest hurdle for me! I will let you know when we begin for you to follow since we have the same grade. I know there will be many mistakes but the students and I will learn together! Good luck with starting your own as well. I am using remind 101 and Facebook with my parents if you need anyone to bounce ideas off of please contact me!

    • mybrainstorm says:

      Awesome! thanks so much Lisa. I am new to teaching grade 2 this year so I appreciate you reaching out:) I will definitely check out your blog and connect with you soon!
      thanks again

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