Tag Archives: why to write a blog

5 Reasons Teachers Should Start Writing a Blog

why teachers should start blogging

Are you thinking about starting your own teacher’s blog?
You know that digital technology is sweeping classrooms on a global basis, creating blended learning environments. And you also know that to stay effective as a teacher you need to embrace some of this technology.
For many, the problem is knowing where to start, how to initiate and integrate these new systems into the classroom. And while most of us are now comfortable with using a smartphone and personal computer, unless you’re a hardcore geek, the idea of massive technological setup can seem intimidating.
It’s not that you’re a closet Luddite, it’s just the idea of learning an entire new system can feel a bit overwhelming.
So, rather than thinking you’re going to have to learn code, be a social media guru, and invest decades learning how to run complicated software programs, focus instead on sufficiency. Set a goal of learning what will be sufficient to create your own blog. Or, in teacher terms ‘just enough’. “[Teachers] need [to learn] ‘just enough’ to help them complete a curriculum-related or instructional task. Anything beyond this is wasted effort.”
And blogging can be a simple and gentle way to get more comfortable with technology in the classroom. For taking steps to create a blog, this post from Teach Junkie 24 Steps to Creating An Awesome Teacher Blog is a good place to start.
So, let’s explore 5 good reasons teachers should start blogging.

1. Blogging is Efficient.

A common area of resistance for many teachers is the thought that blogging will take up too much time. But in truth, once the initial setup is done and you’re familiar with the platform, blogging is an efficient and effective medium to communicate with students, parents and other teachers.
You can use a blog to:

  • Organize and consolidate all of your files, links, research data and multimedia sources in one place. And of course, you can keep private pages for your eyes only.
  • Share students work within an online community for collaboration, reviews and peer critiques.
  • Communicate in a two-way flow with parents. You can post classroom lessons and curriculum online as well as class progress, events and activities, so that parents are always in the loop. And parents can add their comments to your posts as well – or you can set a dedicated email address for private communications.
  • Post classroom and homework assignments, schedules for upcoming tests and review material. This means no excuses of ‘not knowing’ when projects are due, and are helpful for students who are absent.

This post from Angela Watson on Blogging Tips for Teachers is a good read for practical advice on setting a schedule, how to pick a theme, niches, etc.

2. Collaboration and Extended Reach.

Today’s EdTech tools such as blogging allows for a broader range of collaboration between students and teachers as well as between teacher and teacher. It’s a great way to share what you’ve learned with other teachers, and to learn from those with a bit more technical savvy – as this very informative post 50 Ways EdTech Benefits Teachers and Students from Tom Vander Ark demonstrates.
And, as an integrated tool in blended learning, blogging can also enhance “communication, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, digital literacy, entrepreneurship, global awareness, and digital responsibility/citizenship.”
Blogging also facilitates expanded influence for “professional learning networks across districts and around the world.”

3. Blogging Builds Voice.

For aspiring writers or teachers of drama, English, journalism etc. blogging is a very effective way to develop their “voice”, one of the key qualities in becoming a better writer – and thus, a better communicator. Critical for being a good teacher.
But it can also be the voice of social consciousness. Anyone who works within the parameters of public service knows how difficult it can be when trying to effect positive change. Blogging allows us to take our concerns into the public arena – as Susan Bowles did when she refused to give the FAIR test to her kindergarteners. Use this tactic with discretion of course. Park your post in ‘drafts’ and sit on it overnight; or consult with your peers or superintendent before publishing.

4. Use Blogging as a Learning Tool.

Setting up a blog, learning how to use it, composing original content and curating information is a great way to teach language, writing and editing skills in the classroom. And getting students involved with their own in-class blog also teaches them how to interact in a public platform with integrity and respect, and develops good “digital citizenship skills.”
This post by educator Susan Lucille Davis offers a step-by-step process on Blogging Basics for setting up a classroom blog.

5. Blogging Gives Perspective.

Let’s face it, just like our students, we don’t always behave in the classroom the way we’d like to.
Events unfold, buttons may get pushed and then we assign meaning to those events based on past experiences. These meanings then color our thoughts and feelings which may be expressed in a manner somewhat less our usual high level of professionalism.
Blogging can be a safe environment to gain perspective on what’s happened by creating a space for reflection; as the act of writing itself helps to clarify and refine our thoughts for objective examination. In situations that are unusual or create uncertainty, the professional should “reflect on the phenomena before him…” The act of reflecting-on-action enables us to spend time exploring why we acted as we did”.
In short, blogging helps to create distance so we can see the situation clearly – it helps to keep us sane!
Well, there you have some good reasons to start blogging – as well as some teacher recommended resources to make your entry into the blogosphere easy and successful.

Why Writers Start Blogging

why writers start blogging

There are over 200 million blogs on the internet. You could call blogging an explosion – everyone has one. Many writers have jumped on the bandwagon in recent years and fired up their own blogs. But why do people blog? What benefits does blogging offer? What’s the appeal?

Here are some reasons why writers blog:

To Build Your Platform With a Blog

Blogging is an undeniably great way to build your writing platform. In fact, it’s probably the greatest modern invention for writers. Before blogging, platform building consisted of getting out from behind the typewriter and hunting down speaking gigs. Now blogging has taken the place of the speaking gigs as the number one platform-building tool for writers.

The potential reach of a blog post vs. a traditional speaking gig is astronomically higher. The more readers you have, the more chance you have of catching the eye of a publisher. The larger your following, the greater sale potential when a book of yours is published. The question isn’t why, but why not?

To Make Blogging Friends

Blogging also helps connect you to other writers. The blogging community is ever-growing. Many writers value blogging for the input they get from readers and other writers. Without blogging, writers have to rely on friends, colleagues or writing workshops in order to get their work read and critiqued. Now they can get their work reviewed without having to even ask.

Because It’s the New Journaling

Writers used to journal. Carrying a pen and notebook with them everywhere to record thoughts, impressions and ideas. Now they blog. Though public and not private like a journal, blogging has become the daily practice of many writers. And though the personal secrecy of a hand-written journal has it’s own value, a newly published blog post looks and feels more official. Also, when writing in a journal, you know that the only reader is you.

While blogging, you know you’re writing for an audience which ups the ante and, for some writers, makes them write better, cleaner and tighter prose.Having an audience and knowing that people will be disappointed if you don’t publish a new blog post can also serve as a huge motivation. Devoted readers are like cryptonite for writer’s block.

Because Who Needs a Website When You Have a Blog?

A lot of writers forgo building a website and subsequent costs and upkeep in favor of a blog which they control and maintain. Keeping a blog is often cheaper than a website or even free. And instead of hiring someone to maintain it, you maintain it yourself. No muss, no fuss.

Because It’s All Yours

Blogging gives you full control. You write what you want. You publish when you want. There’s no editor. There are no niches that you fit into or don’t. There are no rejection letters. All the publishing rights belong to you. Blogging is you taking the reigns and getting your voice heard. For many writers, both professional and budding, this is a huge plus. It’s the dream of many writers – to enjoy full artistic freedom.

To Publish Something

A lot of newbie writers who long to be published choose to blog so that they can be part of the published writer community. It’s a great way to practice writing and get your work seen. It allows you to access an audience that used to be only for those who had published a book or article. Now anyone who wants to be published, can be.

For Professional Growth

Publishing a blog can lead to other opportunities whether it’s a book contract or a job as a writer for a magazine or for someone else’s blog. It’s a great way to get a foot in the door for those who want to earn a living writing. Few people make a good living from blogging alone. If people are making money from it, it’s usually supplemental income. Blogging can be more like your writer’s resume. When you’re hunting for writing jobs, including your blog address is a quick, easy way for people to see your writing.

To Learn a New Skill

Some writers use their blogs informally and without a specific intention or market. Others delve into the mechanics of SEO and conversions. For those who focus on the business of increasing their blog traffic, they’ve learned valuable marketing skills. They can apply those skills to their own work, or get hired to help other bloggers. Writers who become blogging experts are in high demand and often offer their expertise for a good price.

To Establish Expertise

If you claim to be an expert on something and you’ve written a blog about it, that’s usually enough for people to believe you. A blog is a way to showcase your knowledge and background in a certain area. Next time you claim to be an expert in Japanese tattoos or French cuisine and someone raises an eyebrow, just direct them to your blog.

To Increase Your Confidence

Blogging is different from traditional forms of published writing in the sense that it’s likely that your friends and family will have access to your blog first. Instead of an anonymous readership, your immediate circles are the ones you’re letting into your blogging world. This can be very intimidating and requires courage to put your thoughts and voice out there for others to criticize. It will force you to build your confidence.

To Stay Productive

Blogging is one of the few beneficial ways that a writer can spend time online. Spending time blogging will make you feel better and more productive than spending hours scrolling through your Facebook feed. Instead of reading what other people think, you’re developing your own ideas and opinions. Most people are online to consume the ideas of others. If you’re online to offer your ideas, you’re in the minority.

If you’ve been considering blogging, surely there’s something on this list that appeals to you. There are a lot of benefits to blogging whether it’s building your platform, giving yourself a daily writing practice or just for the pleasure of having finally published something. Whatever your motivation, blogging has a lot to offer to writers.