Posted in Demonstrate commitment to promote the well-being of all ākonga, Mindlab reflections, Professional Development, Show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning., Teacher Registration

Blogging for Professional Development


The social media platform that best supports my engagement with professional development is WordPress. Blogging is beneficial to me as it allows regular reflection on teaching and learning. Many posts discuss challenges and solutions based upon discussion with colleagues. This is a great way of being a reflective practitioner and processing information and thoughts.

The act of regularly expressing your thoughts in written form can help sharpen your intellect, organize your ideas and prep you to lead lessons in the classroom more effectively. (Teach.com, 2015)

The Reader on WordPress is a stream of bloggers that I follow and is an interesting way of staying up to date other educators with similar interests.

Putting your ideas into the world is a great way to attract like-minded people to argue with, network with, or get advice from. As we’ve learned from other discussions on personal learning networks (PLN), talking with other educators is a wonderful way to learn and grow as a teacher. (Teach.com, 2015)

I like WordPress because I can include photos, video, slideshows, and hyperlinks. It is a visually interesting digital portfolio that can be commented on and modified when needed. Many posts create a discussion which gives me other things to think about.

Positive or negative, getting reactions from other people in your community is a great way to test out your ideas. It can also be a great motivational tool. (Teach.com, 2015)

I use WordPress to enhance my professional development to record reflections and evidence linked to the Practising Teacher Criteria. Categories for each criterion can be created and each post linked to the relevant criteria. Before my last re-registration interview with my principal, I emailed her my blog address. At the interview we discussed a selection of blog posts. As I had been writing posts for the 3 years leading up to re-registration I did not need to write a lot to make sure that I had provided evidence for all of the criteria.

Many employers these days will check out a prospective employer’s online prescence to find out about who they are as a person and how they represent themselves. A blog will help an employer to understand the values and attitudes of a teacher. It will also give insight into how they teach and reflect on their pedagogy.

A media-rich teaching portfolio will give employers a deeper insight into your teaching practices while signaling that you’re a 21st century teacher. Having a teaching portfolio can be a decisive element at the interview stage of the hiring process (Mosely, 2005).

At my new school we are beginning to investigate blogging for the same purpose and many teachers have already begun to set up their blogs. It is preferable to filling in lots of paperwork. I have also been involved in facillitating professional development in both schools to help people set up their blogs. Blogging to reflect on teaching and learning naturally links to many of the PTC so one blog post can cover many areas.

I have enjoyed blogging about my experiences and journey of teaching and learning over the last few years. It is interesting to look at older posts to see how I have grown and developed as an educator. Sharing this journey with other educators from around the world has given me new perspectives on issues and I have learnt a great deal. Blogging is a great social media tool that is also valuable for our learners to use, but that’s a story for another post.


References
1. 10 Reasons to Blog as Professional Development (2015). Retrieved from http://teach.com/teach100-mentor/blogging-as-pd

2. Do I need a digital teaching portfolio?(2014).  Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-teaching-portfolio-edwige-simon

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Posted in Criterion 4, Criterion 5, Professional Development

Learning Together

Yesterday I facillitated a workshop on blogging for 8 of our staff and a student teacher. The goal of the workshop was to discover how to make a blog post scannable, embed YouTube clips and slideshows and insert hyperlinks.

Here’s the plan here, embedded using Kyle Bluck’s awesome tutorial on embedding Google stuff. 

I introduced the plan for the day and then directed everyone to our LMS where I had made a folder of ‘How To‘ resources. See my Advanced Blogging post for the resources. I flipped the learning by allowing people to select what they wanted to work on and, using the ‘How To‘ resources, learn at their own pace and choose what they wanted to do and when they wanted to do it. My role was to be the guide on the side and help when needed.

   

After morning tea we had a sharing session about how blogging could be used with our students. Just before we did this I had a little epiphany about the way we could do this, I could create a Padlet. As staff were returning from morning tea I set this up and emailed them the link to the page. We all shared ideas on the page which could then be reflected on or revisited later.

 
 

Everyone then continued pimping out their blogs until 2:45pm when we had a ‘Show and Tell‘ session to see what  people had been doing. I really enjoyed this part of the day as people shared what they had done by projecting their blog on screen so that we could all see. They also shared new things that they had discovered, things that I had not known myself such as:

  • how to create a gallery of photos, 
  • how to change the font style and colour (I mostly blog on an iPad and this option is not available so that’s why I didn’t know!), 
  • and the ability to embed a Google Slide straight from Google Slides instead of having to upload to Slideshare first. 

I also learnt that WordPress has had a recent update which means that you can upload video directly from your camera roll now instead of having to publish to YouTube first! Lifechanging for us! 

It was such a great way to spend a Friday and I learnt just as much as the awesome people in my workshop. Mel Brown reflects on her impressions of the day here: Mel’s blog.

I’m looking forward to our next session in a fortnight, better put my thinking cap on…