Web feats 3: Blogging

I continue my series on the tools I can't do without, and today, I want to talk about blogging, and the platform I use for Learning with 'e's: Blogger.

This is Blogger. What you are reading now is on a blog hosted by Blogger. It's probably one of the simplest 'free' tools you will find anywhere on the web for creating your own blog. I find blogging very valuable, because it allows me to post up my ideas, reflections, questions and fun content so that I can share it with the world. Having a blog is like owning your own publishing house or personal radio station. I have complete editorial control over my content, and once I have written and posted it, it's there for the entire world to look at, should they wish to. But I can also come back to it and add, delete or modify the content any time I want.

I first started blogging at the end of 2006, and have continued to do so regularly ever since. I have already posted up my reasons for blogging (Why do I bother?), and I have also given my opinions on what ingredients there should be in a good blog post. There has also been a lot written by others about the pedagogical and personal benefits of blogging, but I won't try to summarise it or repeat what has already been said. I will simply give my personal view, because that's what this blog is all about! Blogging has transformed my professional practice (teaching and researching) because it has enabled me to write down and present my ideas in a way which is coherent to my wider community of practice. OK, so I could publish in a peer reviewed journal and often do, but that takes time (read Publish and be jammed and you'll see what I mean). Blogging is different - it has immediacy - it's almost instantaneous, so I now use it as my preferred weapon of mass instruction. In doing so, I have had to articulate myself clearly, separate out fact from fiction, and have also needed to adopt a creative approach to the way I represent my ideas. Doing all of this has made me better at writing, better at speaking, and ultimately has given me a springboard from which I can launch into developing my ideas and theories further afield. I gain very valuable feedback from people who comment on my posts, and in doing so, I can reflect critically, strengthen my ideas further, modify and adapt them to make them more workable, and even gain some new insight as I blog. In the act of writing, it has been said, we are written. As I write, edit and then post my content on this blog, I make my ideas available to the world, and wait for the world to make its feedback available to me. It's a two way street that brings a lot of personal and professional benefits.

Image source (Joyce Seitzinger)

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Web feats 3: Blogging by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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