To Blog or Not to Blog. . .that is the question! Of course, the answer is “To Blog!” With that being said, what are blogs? Blogs are great 5 – 10 minute (or less) reads that give the reader information on a particular subject or idea. There are wonderful blogs on just about any subject or topic in education. The tricky part is finding the best blogs that fit your needs and fulfill your quest for knowledge and learning!
Keep in mind that when reading blogs, you do need to be careful. We all know that any Harry or Sally can post a blog so before you read one, take a minute or two to get to know who is blogging! Find out if the blogger has practical knowledge, experience, or expertise in their field. Find out if they are a reliable source for the information you are gathering and consuming.
For example, who am I? I was a secondary classroom math teacher for over 30 years, worked for our state Department of Education as a Math Specialist, and I now give math professional development all over our state. You can find my bio here – Bill Reed.
Finding Great Blogs
Finding great blogs can be illusive. The secret is to craft a good search to find what you are looking for. I have found that there are so many blogs out there that being very specific is a good route to take. For instance, if you are an administrator and are wanting help working with stressed out and/or grieving teachers, type that into a search. The search might look something like: “Great blogs for educational leaders to address grief and stress.” You will find many excellent choices that are informative and insightful! A great read on this subject was written by my colleague, Tiffany Creager. Her blog fits all the criteria I mentioned above for an excellent resource. You can read Tiffany’s blog on this subject at: Prioritizing Physical & Mental Health Despite Ongoing Stress.
You can always find great ideas to help you deal with those ongoing nagging issues all teachers have with some of their students. The issue of students who are never on time comes to mind. Craft a good specific search like: “Great blogs for teachers dealing with students late to school or tardy to class”. Be sure to look at the source of the blog.
You will find that you can get some excellent advice and ideas to help you in your classroom or at your school to address and alleviate the issue in some very unique and creative ways. But searching for excellent blogs doesn’t always have to be work-related. You can also find fun and interesting blogs on your favorite hobbies or pastimes. I love to cook so I have read and gathered many ideas from a variety of cooking blogs to help me improve my cooking skills. Finding and reading informative, reliable blogs can open up a whole new world of possibilities for you.
Following Your Favorite Blogger(s)
When you find a great blog that is interesting, insightful, and useful, follow the blogger. Get notifications when they post a new blog entry. There is an option of setting up an RSS Feed to make sure you see the latest blog when it is posted. If you don’t know about RSS Feeds (I didn’t until I read a blog about it! ☺), you can still follow and read new blogs from your favorite blogger. Subscribe to their Twitter Feed or LinkedIn Profile.
Usually, your favorite blogger can be found in the same location and will post on a regular schedule. Find out what your favorite blogger’s schedule is and check back regularly. You can always go back in the archives and read previous blogs about topics you might be interested in knowing more about. If you have a favorite blogger, don’t be afraid or hesitant to contact that person and suggest topic(s) you would like to learn more about or ideas that can help you improve what you are doing.
Finally, look to see if your favorite blogger has favorite blogs or bloggers they follow because you may enjoy reading some similar blogs. You can find wonderful additional sources by just drilling down one or two additional steps.
13 Excellent Educational Leadership, Social-Emotional Learning, and S.T.E.M. Blogs
I have favorite bloggers, such as my colleagues, that I read regularly and enjoy immensely every time they post, mainly because their blogs cover excellent topics that help me grow and improve my skills for educational Leadership and understanding students’ needs.
For example, Dianne McKinley is a Leadership expert! You can find her blog at: Dianne McKinley Videos and Blogs. Tiffany Creager is phenomenal with Social-Emotional Learning. You can find her blog at: Tiffany Creager Videos and Blogs. I also have other excellent bloggers I love and follow that I do not work with.
Some of the absolute best STEM-specific blogs I never miss are from people like Dan Meyer, Robert Kaplinsky, Jo Boaler, and so many others. If you want rich, mathematical tasks and all-around marvelous information for teaching math, check out these blogs:
Blogs are gems of inspiration, ideas, and knowledge! They are very versatile and fill many different needs for many people. Blogs can be fun and light-hearted on topics that are recreational, entertaining, and interesting to you, and blogs also can be deep, insightful, meaningful, and full of important information that can help you to make the best decisions for your actions and decide which next steps to take when performing your duties.
You can read blogs for fun and enjoyment, to improve your skills, or to get validation for what you are doing. I look to blogs to introduce me to new ways of thinking about a topic or an issue I have been contemplating because reading someone else’s views and information on a subject can allow you to see things from a whole new perspective.
Think about the old saying, “Looking at something with fresh eyes.” I hope everyone will take a few minutes to find a blog that they love and enjoy reading. Understanding and sharing other people’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas is a mind-expanding experience so…Blog on my friends, Blog on!
Read More of Bill’s Blogs