Blogging for Staff Professional Learning

I have been really thinking about the idea of using social media to make local impact, not just global.  It is easy to get caught up in the opportunity to connect with classrooms around the world, that we sometimes forget about the teacher across the hall.

A little realization I had this morning when I received a comment on my blog post, “Does Brainstorming Lead to Innovation?“, was how often we are not asked to really think and dissect  something before we get together at a staff.  Often, people are asked to read articles or excerpts, but how often are we asked to share our thoughts prior in some sort of open reflection? This makes all of us smarter, not just the person reflecting.

From the original post, John Spencer shared his thoughts by writing, “Seven Ways to Fix Brainstorming“. Comments on the post shared subtle pushback, or alternatives as well.  What was important was the time to dissect, and actually share something that would be seen by others, ultimately helping people think more critically about their responses.

Clive Thompson

So what if we were to do this?

The week before (maybe more, maybe less) a professional learning opportunity, we had a school/staff blog that had an idea that was going to be discussed with staff.  People would be encouraged to write, create, write a comment on the original, or do whatever they wanted to respond, as long as it was linked back to the original.  This way, you are not limited to one person’s point of view, but are open to learning from others.  Would this not make for a much richer discussion that dives deeper into learning when we would actually connect face-to-face with one another?

My view on brainstorming has changed simply because people were willing to take the time and share their thoughts and ideas.  If you read them, not one of them challenged me, but challenged the ideas that were shared.  That’s the power of a blog.  What is important is to not only give people the opportunity to share their thoughts, but also give them time to create and connect their own learning.  Obviously, the hope for any professional learning is that this trickles down into the classroom with our students, and I think this could be a powerful way to really dive in deep to our own thinking, as well as the thinking of others, in our buildings and organizations.

5 Comments

  1. Gayla King said:

    Can you give a link to one of these blogs that you used? Thank you.

    July 26, 2015
  2. John said:

    George,

    You post is right on for making a local impact. We used a blog in our district to do a book study over Bill Ferriter’s, “Making Teamwork Meaningful”. Each week I posted thoughts and quotes from one chapter and everyone was asked to drop a comment. I thought it was a good way to get everyone in the conversation and use the blog in a constructive way.

    July 26, 2015
    • Angela Rumsey said:

      That’s a fantastic idea I want to pitch to my principal. However, what is the answer when you work in an environment of teachers that don’t value the blogging experience? This activity would be viewed as a waste of time, unfortunately.

      July 26, 2015
  3. Mike Glenn said:

    George,
    Thanks for your post! I am going into my first principalship and am currently looking for ways to make a shared reading experience more interactive. I love the blog idea! I have been considering a little blog site for teachers in my new school and your post has inspired me to do so. I hope next time I read from you, I will have a website address to pitch!
    Cheers, from the Czech

    July 30, 2015

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