We’ve been having a great conversation recently on why only a handful of teachers are using our system blog to exchange ideas, challenge one another and ask the critical questions. I was a little surprised that so many of our teachers are so busy blogging in their own school communities or as part of a global community. These teachers are so busy getting on with the job they really don’t have the time to promote those connections at a system level. As a system, our challenge is how do we establish and sustain these connections and how can we all share in the wisdom?
One of our primary schools is raising the bar with its professional development. Staff have created a blog as a way of motivating each other to improve the learning outcomes of its students. They had to find a creative way of engaging teacher interest and they’re using Web 2.0 tools to undertake research, deliver findings and keep each other up to date and motivated with what is happening in this dynamic learning community.
Every class has its own blog and the most inspiring is that the mother of one of the challenged students who set up a blog to share their learning with classmates was motivated to create a blog of her own.
The staff at this school are taking risks, being curious and asking the critical questions. The principal is focussing on creativity and says the professional conversation has been ignited.
Ultimately the issue comes down to one of quality. Teachers will use blogs that help and sustain them in their work on a daily basis. So I guess when we blog we should all keep this fact in mind and ask how our posts help teachers on a daily basis. The great thing is that, as this schools shows, blogging is supporting some vibrant learning communities in our system. This develops a culture of trust and professional respect, and we need to make it the norm not the exception.