I experienced an intense week of professional development last week through an online conference called ‘Using Blogs in Education’ through Knowschools.
The facilitators, Cristina and Ramona, posed challenges (one of which was to start a blog, the last bit of encouragement I needed to create ‘Just a Thought’!), offered readings and moderated forum discussions. A fantastic group of participants full of enthusiasm and encouragement shared ideas, concerns and questions.
I learned too much from the conference to include in one post, but here are the top five things I learned:
- I gained a whole list of new resources, like The Top 100 Education Blogs. My del.icio.us account hasn’t seen so many additions since TLITE!
- I learned about online safety specific to blogging with students. This forum thread inspired the most replies of all forum discussions and was full of great ideas.
- I learned some tips on how to manage all the blogs I read. Many forum participants use websites like Pageflakes, Netvibes and Google Reader to organize their content online.
- I learned that blogging is more about reading than writing. For my students, that translates into using blogs to increase their overall literacy, and in particular, their visual literacy.
- I learned that it’s okay to let a blog sit idle (a personal ‘aha’ moment for me). I’ll try my best to post regularly, but now I won’t feel as guilty if I can’t.
I’m thinking already that ‘Just a Thought’ isn’t always going to be accurate…