Saturday, 8 August 2015

Blog Wednesday - A new initiative at my school

A few months ago I came across a great idea, Blog Friday, described by one of my Twitter PLN, Rory Gallagher. Inspired by this, last week I started Blog Wednesday at my school. The basic premise is that every Wednesday I will circulate one of the many interesting educational blog posts from the blogosphere to my colleagues. I will attach a brief commentary, and seek thoughts and opinions from my colleagues

Blog Wednesday at my school

The aim of this initiative will be to circulate blogs that are positive, reflect good classroom / school practice, or more general student / teacher well-being, as well as blogs about broader professional development issues. Sometimes the post may be topical, for example we are having a digital citizenship week soon, so I will circulate a blog post relevant to that topic. Sometimes I may circulate a post that is controversial, while other times it may simply be a post that is of interest to some or all of my colleagues. 

I teach biology in an English-speaking program for Thai students. Therefore the first post I chose for Blog Wednesday was about something all of my colleagues could relate to, bilingual education, by Dr Matthew Lynch. The post outlines five important features that a bilingual education can afford learners, such as improving lifelong learning skills, breaking down international language barriers, and improving collaboration. 

Amongst colleagues who responded to this initiative the feedback was positive. There were a couple of teachers who spoke to me about the idea, and four who replied to my email. Of the four who emailed responses, two colleagues wrote at length about theoretical studies of bilingual education they were aware of, and drew parallels with their own experiences as parents of young bilingual children. 

Why blog as an educator?

There are some great posts here by Amy Hollingsworth and here by Jessica Lifshitz which outline many reasons why blogging can be helpful for educators. Since I began this blog at the end of last year, I have personally found it to be an extremely useful way to reflect on and to develop my own practice as an educator. During that time I have also written various other posts for different blog sites, which is another great way to gain ideas from leading educators. I have collaborated with top UK ed-blogger Rachel Jones for her blog, been invited to post at BAM RadioNetwork EdWords blog by education author Rae Pica, contributed to, and even been quoted in The Guardian!

I plan to continue blogging myself for the foreseeable future. I also aim to continue with the Blog Wednesday initiative for the rest of this semester and the next, through to the end of this school year. After that, maybe more of my colleagues will be blogging too!