For those who don’t know, I am in graduate school. It has taken me a long time to get here, but in a few short weeks (providing I don’t blow my exit interview) I will have earned my Master’s in Education. For the past 5 semesters I have been learning all about how to effectively use technology in the classroom. Not just physical technology, but “mental” technology as well. Anyone can introduce the use of computers, or projectors, or Smartboards, but it’s HOW you use them that counts, not just that you have them to use.
This semester we are studying Web 2.0, which is just a fancy schmancy way to use the web to communicate and collaborate with others. Web 2.0 has made using the Internet much more interactive and some educators have found ways to adopt the use of Web 2.0 to break down the 4 walls of their classroom and bring the world closer to their students and their students closer to the world.
Our assignment, this semester, was to start a blog. I have never been a fan of blogging because blogging has always felt like a me, me, me, kind of proposition but, since this is our assignment, I am taking it on with as much fervor as I possibly can. Am I going to write a bunch of useless information about myself? Nope, that’s just not my style. Anyone who wants to know anything about me only has to ask, but to openly blurt stuff out about myself, no can do. But what I can do is throw a bit of myself into the assignments we are given, and hopefully we’ll all learn something along the way… And so, here goes.
This week, we were asked to write blog about blogs. I don’t know who, out there, has ever tried to write a blog, but a blog about blogs? I can tell you for the better part of the last few days I have been completely blog blocked. After spending the day watching one Lifetime movie after another, it finally hit me. I was not going to solve my blocked blog issue watching sappy movies. It was time to put down the remote and do a little research. So like Pooh, I went to my thoughtful spot (my bed under my heated blanket) and did a Google search to find out why it was that people wrote blogs in the first place.
According to Brian Gardner, there are 7 reasons why people blog:
1. To Teach – according to Mr. Gardner, if you happen to be an expert in a specific subject matter then the best way to let people know how talented you are is to write a blog about what you know.
2. To Direct Traffic to Your Website – If you have a website that you want people to visit, perhaps one of the best ways to get people to visit your website would be to blog about it.
3. To Help Others – Blogs can be used as Internet support groups.
4. To Change the World – Sometimes blogs are started in order to raise awareness about specific issues are causes in our country and around the world.
5. To Stay Connected – Blogs can be used as digital newsletters; a place where family and friends can get together and share information about what is happening in their lives, post pictures, personal news, accomplishments, etc.
6. To Make Money – Some people start blogging to make a little extra cash, although it takes a lot of hard work and effort to make money blogging.
7. To Have Fun – This is the most interesting one, I think. People start blogging just for the sake of blogging. They have a passionate interest in certain subject matters and they want to be able to share that passion with the rest of the world. They have fun blogging about a topic and they are looking for ways to stay connected.
8. Because it is a Grad Assignment – I feel the need to add just one more to Mr. Gardner’s list and that is people blog because it is part of an assignment they received from their Grad Professor.
Clearly, there are a lot of reasons why people blog but I think there needs to be one more reason added to the list.
9. People blog because they want to know that they are being seen by other people and they are anxious to get a comment so they can feel some sort of validation. They want to know that there are people out there, like them, feeling what they are feeling. But mostly, they just want people to know they are…
So for all you bloggers out there, I say more power to you. Keep teaching, and supporting, and trying to save the world. If you're trying to make money, you might want to get a day job (or 2) but I wish you all the luck with that endeavor. Mostly, know that we see you (and now hopefully you see me too), and we validate what you stand for.