Sunday, April 6, 2008

Part 4 - Learning from other Professionals through their Blogs

The way in which educators engage in professional development can be multi-faceted. Attending conferences, meetings, and workshops with other educators are often the most valued PD opportunities, since educators seem to thrive on discussion and interactions with one another. Whenever you have two or more teachers in a room together, how long before “shop talk” begins? From my experience, not very long! Sharing ideas, stories, successes and failures are all part of growing as a professional. Since blogging occurs on the internet, it is like having an on-line conference, meeting or workshop to participate in at one’s convenience. It is a new way for educators to stay connected.

Since the beginning of this semester, I have subscribed to the blogs of seven professionals: educators, technology experts and teacher-librarians. (I set this up through an aggregator; Google Reader, which brings RSS feeds directly to my blog). Each week, I have read about the various topics which have been timely or at the forefront of their professions. Their blogs have provided me with insights, instruction, resources, web links, book titles, opinions, rants, and ideas; all which I have “soaked up” like a sponge! I have come view these individuals to as guides on my journey to learn about becoming a teacher-librarian in the 21st century.

Here are a few of the professional blogs from which I have been gaining wisdom:

2 cents worth by David Warlick
Weblogg-ed by Will Richardson
Neverending Search by Joyce Valenza
Blogging in the Classroom by Lorna Costantini
November Learning News by Alan November
Technology in the Education Arena by Julia Zangl Colby
TL-DL Blog by Jennifer Branch

Although I have not spent as much time at Edublogs, this site has been referred to many times by colleagues. Edublogs appears to be a prime example of how blogging enhances professional development. The description of the site states: “Edublogs hosts hundreds of thousands of blogs for teachers, students, researchers, professors, librarians, administrators and anyone and everyone else involved in education.”

Edublogs offers educators:
* forums to answer questions
* troubleshooting
* feedback and discussion
* reflections
* support

One does not have to look far to find other online communities such as this, which attract like-minded people.

(Check out Top 100 Educational Blogs)

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