Why blog?

The educational landscape is constantly shifting.   We live in a time of continuous change where the boundaries between home and school are blurred and where the gap between formal and informal learning is closing.   Learning doesn’t finish at the end of the school day, nor does its reach extend only as far as the school gate.   Learning happens anywhere, at anytime and this has never been more apparent than now.

 The traditional models of education and professional development have been ripe for a change for some time but with the advent of web 2.0 technology, such ambition can become a reality.   The opportunity to work on what you want, when you want, where you want and with whom you want is now a possibility.   Online educational forums provide round the clock access, freeing us from the constraints of time and space.   Blogging enables me to share my thoughts on a huge raft of educational issues; it allows me to engage with other educators from around the globe, wherever I am and whenever I want. It provides me with a space for educational thinking and dialogue and a fitting vehicle for keeping a log of my ideas, reflections, musings and deliberations.     

 So much of the school day is given over to operational work, to maintenance rather than development and this can be a constant source of frustration. It is great to be able to sit down and collect my thoughts, to think about the bigger picture and wider educational issues.   Blogging is also a way of relieving the stress one can feel as a headteacher, it provides me with the opportunity to consider in my own time a myriad of matters and to share my thoughts and ideas with peers beyond my immediate group. It helps me keep abreast of international thinking and enables me to see things from a number of different perspectives.

I began my first blog a few years ago; using wordpress I set up smichael920 and later added edthoughts for shorter posts.   These two platforms give me the opportunity to collect my thoughts and share ideas.   Sometimes it’s just good to know that you are not alone in your thinking and what you are doing is supported and greeted with encouragement, backing and a genuine desire to see you do well.   Other educators will feedback and leave comments saying that they have thought about or tried something similar.   People will share their experiences, the difficulties they’ve faced and the challenges they’ve overcome.  We can learn from each other’s journey and the open, online collegiality is hugely beneficial with quick responses from around the world helping to shape new ideas and thinking.  

Last year we had an overhaul of our school blogs and I thought this would be a good time to introduce a Headteacher’s blog to our school community.   It serves a different audience to smichael920 and has enabled me to expand on thoughts, idea and news from our weekly bulletin to parents and carers.   I have found this is a useful way of logging those important events in school and opening up dialogue with the wider community on issues and events that concern them.   I would like to say I set time aside to update this but the reality is it happens where and when I can. That’s the beauty of blogging though; I don’t need to be sat at my desk in order to post an entry!

Blogging, along with the use of twitter and other social media has enabled me to develop a personal learning network that supports and challenges my thinking and links me to likeminded professionals the world over. It would be great to hear how other teachers, principles, headteachers and educators are making use of this fantastic vehicle  

(This post is taken from an article I wrote for Ldr magazine last year)


About smichael920

Headteacher of a large primary school in North West England. Helping me to blur the distinction between work and home, I am also father of five, covering most phases of education thus giving me the lowdown from within and without. Education is about enjoying today and preparing for tomorrow. This can't be done using the tools of the past. View all posts by smichael920

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