Learning to blog takes time. And with any new technology, one cannot possibly know all the features, practices and customs in the first blog post. It is only through blogging over time, reading other people’s blogs, and commenting on other people’s blogs that one becomes more accomplished in blogging. iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (I am the Director of Member Services) is sponsoring 10 weeks of activities to better blogging. If you’re reading this and you’ve wanted to blog but just haven’t had a chance to start or you have been blogging and you’d like to join our supportive online community, well here is your chance! You are welcome to join our weekly activities are on the iNACOL wiki – Activity 1 has you register your blog. Although the focus of the activities focus on educators involved in online learning or blended learning, the activities can be used by anyone. The list of our online bloggers is in the blogroll here.
I can remember learning to blog. Here was my first blogpost entitled “Is all information knowledge?” which I have not looked at for a long time. By clicking on the “stats” of my blog, I can see that the blogpost that was read by the most people was “The #pencilchat narrative” from December 2011 and was read by 230 people from four different countries. I remembered following several people to learn more about blogging including the early blogposts from Michael Barbour, Doug Johnson, David Warlick and Joyce Valenza. Each of these individuals (and others) helped me learn about the various aspects of blogging. This is where I learned about the importance of hyperlinking, citing sources, posting pictures along with blogposts (which I’m still not very good at doing), and how blogposts could be short or longer.
I am still learning to blog but more and more, I am blogging to learn. First, by writing ideas down, I better understand the topic I am writing about. As I blog, I think about the range of people who may read this post and the perspective I am sharing so I work hard to be academic and polite in my writing – even if I am politely disagreeing with others. Second, by writing a blog, I have developed online colleagues – some of whom I now interact with in ongoing ways. Third, by the comments some have made one of my blog entries, I have crystallized my thinking on some topics – something I can do in a reflective way in my time. And, now after reflecting on blogging and looking at my first blogpost, I realize that I do have an archive of all of my writing which I can go back to and use as needed.