Reading and writing Blogs to build your PLN – Part III

“A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list”

Educators blog for many different reasons. They blog about their experiences teaching, their philosophies, and their methodologies.  They share projects their students are working on or use their blog to organize collaborative projects.  Some blog to process something they’ve read or heard about at a conference session.

Steve Hargadon writes, “blogs are about communicating. You observe your experience, reflect on it, and then write about it. Other people read your reflections, respond from their perspectives by commenting or writing their own blog article. You read their perspectives, often learn something through their eyes, and write some more.


  • Start out by subscribing to educational blogs using RSS and your favorite blog aggregator – like Google Reader.  Following and reading posts in your reader is like reading the newspaper everyday.  You get a feel for what’s going in the world and sometimes it sparks your interests.
  • When you discover a post that speaks to you, add a comment to further the conversation.  Often, the author of the blog will respond to blog comments.
  • There are NO rules that you MUST have your own educational blog.  Many social networking sites like Classroom 2.0 give you your own space where you can post your own thoughts.
  • If you feel like you have something to share, consider setting up your own blog using Blogger, WordPress or EduBlogs.
  • A blog can be whatever you want it to be:  resource sharing, learning reflection, photo sharing, book reviews podcasts — whatever is your passion.
  • Share that you have new blog posts on Twitter or other social networks to encourage comments on your posts – but do moderate all comments because of spammers.


  • ISTE newbie project – Beth Still used her blog to promote the ISTE newbie project. She wanted see if it was possible for a regular classroom teacher from Nebraska to leverage the power of Twitter to accomplish a goal. She wanted to see if her PLN could work together to raise $1500 to send a teacher to NECC.
  • I cannot believe how many times I am talking to a teacher and I mention an idea, tool or resource and I find myself going back to my own blog or pulling up a post that I just read to share with the teacher.  Blogging is like recording collective memory.  So useful – especially if the authors tag their posts. ~Colette Cassinelli


  • Bloggers appreciate it when people make the effort to comment on blog posts.
  • Some interesting debates have occur in the comments sections of blog posts.  Asynchronous commenting give people time to craft their  message and polish up the writing before it is public to the world.
  • You control the message and purpose of your blog.
  • Tagging your posts is like creating a directory of all of the posts.


  • Some people are blogging less because they are spending more time on other networks – like Twitter.
  • Hard to build up an audience of readers
  • Takes time to read and compose blog posts.
  • If you find that you are not commenting to blog posts or are bored by the posts in your Google Reader – unsubscribe – and find some new blogs to follow.  You need to keep it fresh


Please share your ideas of how reading a blog and/or writing a blog has helped you to build your PLN.  Thanks!

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