So maybe you are not ready to start educational blogging just yet. That is okay. I have some steps which will gradually move you closer to that goal.
The first step is to start reading the great wealth of educational blogs which are already out there. When I made this move for myself (circa 2011/2012) I was using Google Reader, but not very efficiently. Clive Elsmore, @clivesir, shared a list of blogs which could be imported to Google Reader. After that import I first started reading the direct thoughts of other educators like me. Nothing competes with Twitter for edu-reach, but nothing compares with blog reading for edu-depth either!
@Clivesir still has a nice spreadsheet, Ed Blog Register. You can add a blog to the list as well as find individuals to follow. However, I recommend importing an entire list it into Feedly. I am providing my current Feedly blog list. Consider it a starting point and delete, add, customize as needed (sorry in advance – you will need to).
Feel free: Dropbox link to my Feedly.opml file
An aggregator like Feedly allows you to gather, categorize, and follow blogs regardless of their platform (Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress) while only mastering one format. Feedly offers the ability to categorize blog feeds into multiple categories as well as a “Must Read” feed which is the place I start everyday.
Feedly offers a nice tweet and ‘save for later’ feature. I have also set up an IFTTT.com (If This Than That) recipe which saves the posts I mark as ‘save for later’ in Feedly to my Delicious (social bookmarks) account.
It also happens to be super easy to tweet great articles from Feedly; spread the knowledge.
Although I followed people on Twitter since 2009 I was not organized in how I followed their non-Twitter content. Now I am very standardized in checking out their blog as I acquired them on Twitter. I will copy their blog URL and paste it into Feedly if I like what I see. As for the backlog due to my initial furious adding of every teacher on Twitter, I now go back through my lists and try to add blogs along the lines of the list name and a close match in my Feedly.
When you start integrating the reading of blogs into your daily practice you will notice that the thoughts of other teachers are interesting in ways beyond provoking remarks on Twitter. And being the educator you are you will want to comment. This is a great way to test the waters and get the feel for bloggers and the way they handle thoughts on their blog. Pay attention to how you might handle thoughts differently, but ask questions and really find the answers you need, because I predict commenting will lead to your own educational blogging eventually.
One particularly smart movement is headed up by Ben Wilkoff, @bhwilkoff, Denver Public Schools head of Personalized Professional Learning. #C4C15, or Comments for Change 2015, is how he is building his community, and ours, by commenting on blogs everyday. He gets to engage with peers, be thoughtful, and recognize an intriguing topic and respond. Check out his Learning is Change website and follow #C4C15 on Twitter for his latest comments.
Many blogs allow those commenting to link back to their blog. So as soon as you know you want to start writing it is a good time to associate your blog with your comments!
You can already set-up your blog, in advance of the inspiration you are bound to find out there in the blogosphere. It is normal to start your educational blogging slowly. Educators can predict times of the year which might be difficult to put out published post. However, think about all the content you have to write about from those jam-packed days! Maybe you should start a blog just for the stockpile of “drafts” you can create for when you know your are ready to start blogging?
When you are ready consult my series on K12 blogging and feel free to reach out to me here or on Twitter!