Sunday, April 6, 2008

Closing Thoughts on Blogs/Blogging for Professional Development

The blog tracking and searching site Technorati published the following statistics in April 2007,

- 70 million weblogs
- about 120,000 new weblogs each day, or 1.4 new blogs every second
- 1.5 million posts per day, or 17 posts per second
- growth from 35 million to 75 million blogs in 320 days

The statistics are incredible and impressive. More and more educators are becoming active in blogging including ourselves!

Blogs and blogging can and do enable professional development. On EduBlog Insights a teacher named Anne writes about how a librarian's blog—The Shifted Librarian—allows her to learn about a conference she could not attend. She writes, “Those learnings led me to even more learning on the blogs of those who had presented. Talk about professional development.”

Michael Stephens, the author of the article Tools from Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software Revisited(2007) discusses that, librarians join the biblioblogosphere to share their voices. The reasons for doing so is to participate in a community, share expertise and gain recognition within the field. According to Stephens, today, the library blog has become its own platform. Almost anything can be embedded in a blog now: pictures from Flickr, audio, video (YouTube), chat(Meebo), presentations (SlideShare), bookmarks (del.icio.us), and more(our stuff, VoiceThread, Podcast, avatar). Sounds like our course!
Librarians are finding ways to add value to their online presence through use of a blog.
Eventually, if not already, school boards will look for administrators with experience blogging and using other technologies. I feel that we can definitely add a technology strand to our resume when applying for administrative positions upon completion of this course!

Mary Ghikas, The Green Kangaroo Blog, succinctly states that when exploring the ‘biblioblogosphere’, she is amazed by the vitality and generosity of the professional exchange taking place on blogs. Like her I too have shamelessly grabbed references to other blogs and web sites, to interesting papers and new books to read. She is also struck by the reflectiveness of many posts, the thoughtful consideration of context, of related issues and concerns of evaluation. I have seen a number of these in the educational blogs that I have accessed. Last of all, she is amazed by the personal voice within the blogs, revealing frustrations, happiness, anger and optimism.

In this time of Web 2.0, we look to each other for news, recommendations, and advice. We want to be involved and we need to write our own story. Blogs can be opinionated, and personal, but they still serve as a valuable research resource for professional development.
"You have great ideas. You’ve done great work. Keeping your innovations and learning to yourself, won’t let your light spread. Everyone can find 15 minutes a week to blog about something they learned or did that week; comment on an idea in Ning, on a wiki or on a blog or start an article preferably with a partner. Share. Your ideas will spread, and learning and libraries will improve. To paraphrase the old saw, in times of extreme change the spoils go to the learners-not the learned." (Stephen Abram- Teacher Librarians: Sharing and Taking Care of Themselves)

4 comments:

Val said...

Wow impressive stats Cindy by Technorati. That's a heck of a lot of blogging. Thanks for the link to the Shifted Librarian. The professional development opportunities are no longer limited by time, budget and location. They are just a click away. Thanks.
Cheers
Val

Katie said...

Those stats are amazing! I can't wrap my head around someone blogging every 1.4 seconds!

I was also impressed with the Shifted Librarian. Great insight into using blogs for PD and the reflective process.

Katie

Ronda said...

Hi Cindy,

Just as you mentioned with Mary Ghikas, I too am overwhelmed by the generosity of those educators who contribute to the blogosphere. There are many individuals who seem to show the same compassion to their colleagues whom they have never met, as they would show their own students. It makes me proud to be a part of a profession where people support each other this way!

Ronda

elizabeth said...

Cindy, the Technorati stats are useful for sharing with teachers to demonstrate just how much blogging has taken off. I love the collaborative nature of this tool and am amazed at the way educators contribute with such a conscience to their blogs. What I once wondered about in terms of "lack of expertise" is becoming something I rely upon for up to date information!