Welcome to the fifth step in our free professional learning series on building your PLN.

The aim of this step is to:

  1. Explain what a blog is.
  2. Unpack the benefits of using blogs as part of your PLN.
  3. Describe some of the ways people keep up to date with blogs.
  4. Explore how to use blogs as part of your PLN.

Blogs play an important role in most educators’ PLNs and making blogs part of your PLN is more than just publishing posts on your own blog. If you don’t see yourself setting up your own blog, there are many benefits to simply reading, commenting, and sharing other people’s blogs.

What Is A Blog?

Blogs have been mainstream for well over a decade, so you might be very familiar with what a blog is (you’re reading a blog right now!).

However, let’s take a moment to define what exactly a blog is as the term continues to evolve.

Over recent year, the lines between blogs, websites, ePortfolios, and other online spaces have been blurring.

BLOG WEBSITE PORTFOLIO

Dynamic Community

Feedback and interaction (comments, sharing, RSS, and subscription)

Typically journal-like

Static information 

General term for online space — complex or simple

Scaffolding, showcasing or organization of student work

Typically over a period of time (years)

A blog is simply a website, although traditionally a website will have been more of a static space.

What makes a blog different than a simple website?

  • A blog traditionally would be updated fairly regularly and display posts in reverse chronological order.
  • Comments have always been a key feature of blogs, providing an interactive space.
  • Most blogs have pages where some key information is housed that isn’t updated very frequently (for example, an About Me page).

Nowadays, some people have a website that has a blog component; the home page doesn’t change but readers can click on a tab to view a regularly updated blog.

An example of this is Langwitches’ “Online Hub”. This is a website that displays Silvia Tolisano’s professional portfolio and there is a blog section that readers can navigate to from the front page.

Langwtiches Online Hub

An Introduction To Blogging Video

This video also provides a simple overview of what a blog is.

Reasons Why Educators Blog

The main reasons why educators have personal/professional blogs include to:

  • Share information and tips with other educators.
  • Collaborate with a global audience. Increased collaboration with others leads to greater innovation and new perspectives.
  • Reflect on their learning or their teaching/work practices.
  • Learn how to blog themselves so they can use blogs effectively with their students.

Refer to The State of Educational blogging in 2017/2018 for more information on why educators use blogs.

Your personal blog extends your relationships outside of your school and allows you to connect with global educators who all willingly help each other.

Using Blogs As Part Of Your PLN

Sue Waters, who is the backbone of Edublogs has reflected on her own experiences of blogging.

I’m sure that lots of people would be totally surprised by the fact that initially I really struggled with the concept of blogging — ‘Why would anyone blog and why would anyone read their blogs?’

It took almost a year from being shown what a blog was to becoming a blogger.

The online tools I used before blogging were excellent for sharing information. But blogging gave me what they lacked; the ability to reflect, collaborate, exchange ideas, and connect with other people.

Ultimately, blogging completely changed my life; it’s the reason why I’m now employed to do the work I do and blogging helped me build a strong PLN.

It’s also important to remember that not everyone who makes blogs part of their PLN are bloggers themselves. It’s really up to you!

Some educators prefer to read and comment on other people’s posts while other educators also have their own personal blog.

If you have a vague thought in the back of your mind about starting your own blog but you’re not sure if it’s for you, hopefully Sue’s words above remind you that you can jump into blogging with some reluctance and you may be pleasantly surprised.

What have you got to lose?

Tips For Building Your PLN Via Blogs

The key components to making blogs part of your PLN are really simple:

  • Read and comment on other people’s blog posts. Then share anything that resonates with you with your PLN (e.g. on Twitter).
  • Publish posts on your own blog to reflect your thoughts, ideas, and/or to share resources. Remember, this is optional but keep it in mind!

Like everything, there are tips that’ll both save you time and make you more effective.

Reading Blog Posts

There are thousands of educators out there who are regularly publishing on their own blogs. Many of these blogs revolve around specific topics, interests, or subjects areas. Others are more general reflections on all areas of education.

Reading blog posts is an important part of connecting with other educators. But how do you keep up to date with your favorite blogs and know if something new has been published?

There are three main ways you can keep up with your favorite blogs:

  1. Email subscription or email newsletter if available
  2. RSS feed (using a tool like Feedly)
  3. Social media and curation tools like Flipboard

Interestingly, when we did a quick poll of our Edublogs community in July 2018, 61% of respondents indicated that their favorite way to keep up to date with the blogs they like to read is via social media.

Poll showing 61% people keep up to date with blogs via social media

This might demonstrate that people are okay with consuming information serendipitously (there’s no guarantees they’ll see posts on social media). To avoid being swamped by emails, perhaps people choose to subscribe to only their very favorite blogs in this way. Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments!

Email Subscription

Many bloggers have an option to be notified via email when they publish something new. This might be via a simple email subscription widget on the sidebar of their blog. In this case, you’ll receive an email automatically to alert you to new posts.

It’s also becoming more common to see educators (and bloggers in general) create their own personal email newsletter to keep readers up to date. This might be sent out every time they publish something new, or there might be a weekly or monthly summary email.

Check out the sidebar of your favorite blog and look for a sign-up box.

RSS Feed (Feedly)

One of the easiest ways to keep updated with posts from your favorite blogs is to subscribe to their RSS feed using Feedly. The free version of Feedly allows you to follow up to 100 sources which should be enough to keep you busy!

Refer to these step-by-step instructions on how to set up Feedly.

This short video by Joshua Essary explains how to get started with Feedly.

There are other similar tools, but Feedly is one of the most popular.

Here are just a few popular education blogs you can subscribe to using Feedly.

Click here to open this spreadsheet in a new window.

Social Media And Flipboard

If you follow your favorite bloggers on Twitter, no doubt you will see them announcing when they have something new on their blog. Of course, there are no guarantees that you will always see this.

Another option Sue Waters uses on her mobile devices is subscribing to her Twitter timeline and Twitter hashtags using Flipboard.

This pulls all the links shared on Twitter into her Flipboard account in a magazine format where it’s easy to read, share, and comment on articles shared by her network.

You’ll find detailed step by step instructions on how to set up Flipboard here.

Watch this video to see how Sue uses Flipboard.

Commenting On Posts

Your commenting skills and how you engage in comments with others on blogs posts is one of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects of using blogs as part of your PLN.

The comment section is where the deep learning, questioning, and reflection can occur. Comments turn your blog from a static space into an interactive conversation.

Commenting Tips For Bloggers

1.  Don’t just lurk — comment!

Of course you’re probably not going to comment on every blog post you read, but every now and then make the concerted effort to scroll down to that comment box and type a response, ask a question, or share your own insights. Your comments don’t have to be long to make an impact.

Remember, being part of a PLN is about giving as well as receiving. Taking the time to begin conversations will pay off!

2. Approve comments quickly

If you’re a blogger and someone leaves a comment on your post, make sure you approve the comment quickly (if you moderate comments).

There’s nothing more annoying to a reader to see that their comments haven’t been published. They might forget about it and not check back to see your response.

3.  Always respond back to readers on your own posts

If readers have made time to comment on your posts the very minimum you should do is respond back to your readers (ideally each reader) in the comments on your post.

This is very important for building your blog’s community; it demonstrates that you value your readers and their input.

Below is an example of replying back to a comment using threaded comments:

Comment on a post

4.  Use the Subscribe to Comments option

If a blogger provides a subscribe to comment option, then make sure you select this option when leaving a comment, so you’re notified by email of any follow up comments.

It’ll make your life easier. 🙂

Notify of follow up comments

Set Up Your Own Blog

If you’ve never blogged before, hopefully you’re reading this with the open mind to consider starting a blog now or even in the future.

But there are so many blogs out there! Why should I start one?

This is a common concern for people contemplating whether to start their own blog. They might feel like there is so much noise and so many blogs that are already established. They wonder what they could possibly have to add to the community?

We can assure you, you do have something worthwhile to share!

You are the only you. Your unique perspectives could be exactly what someone else needs to hear.

As George Couros has said,

My best advice…write for you and don’t overthink. See every blog post as a rough draft to something you are building over time, not a college term paper.

The more you do it, the better you will become.

The better you become, the easier it will be.

Be kind, be thoughtful, but don’t overthink. It is probably holding you back for inspiring someone else, and probably surprising yourself.

Still not convinced?

Check out Obvious To You, Amazing To Others by Derek Sivers.

A Blog Is Your Online Home

There are many advantages to blogging.

George Couros’ three reasons for blogging are shared by thousands of educators worldwide.

Reasons George Couros Blogs To share my thinking. To develop my thinking. To archive my thinking.

One of the great advantages of having your own blog when you’re setting up your PLN, is that it’s your online home.

Maybe you’ll discover a really cool tool, article, or resource. You could write about it (and share your learning with others).

Perhaps you’ll connect with some like minded teachers and possibly start some sort of collaboration. This would be perfect to blog about.

Even if your blog doesn’t really have an audience, a blog can be a fantastic place to keep track of all the work you’re doing both online and offline.

Your blog can also become an excellent professional portfolio. This can be an advantage when you’re trying to demonstrate who you are and what you’re passionate about for future career opportunities.

As Stephanie Thompson pointed out on her blog, 

An effective personal learning network and a willingness to share has enabled me to enjoy some incredible learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom in the last few years. When I look back, even getting that first job offer in a market saturated with teaching graduates was directly attributable to an online professional presence.

What Platform Should I Blog On?

If you’re still reading, hopefully you’re thinking that setting up a blog is a possibility.

So you might be wondering where to set up your blog?

There are many choices.

Edublogs and CampusPress are powered by a customized version of WordPress. WordPress is the tool of choice for the large majority of professional bloggers and online publishers. In fact, over one-third of the entire web is powered by WordPress.

It’s highly customizable, export-friendly, and it works!

It’s free to sign up for a blog at Edublogs and it’s the world’s most popular platform for educational blogging. Just go to https://edublogs.org/ to sign up!

Read more about the advantages of using a WordPress based platform like Edublogs in this post. 

How Do I Start A Blog?

Ready to start your blog? We can help with that.

Our Personal Blogging Series takes you step-by-step through the process of setting up your own personal educator blog. It includes links to other educators’ blogs so you can see how they use their blogs.

Already dabbling with blogging? You’ll find our tips for writing more effective blog posts here.

Conclusion: Why Blog When You Can Microblog?

There’s a lot you can learn from getting involved in the blogging community whether that’s writing your own posts, or simply reading and commenting on other blogs.

However, this takes a certain amount of time. So what is the benefit of using blogs as a part of your PLN, as opposed to a tool like Twitter or other forms of social media?

Simply put, the more you put in the more you get out. Blogging allows you to dig deeper and really form strong connections with others. You’re not limited to 280 characters like on Twitter. You can write thousands of words if you like! Or at other times a few short sentences might suffice. The choice is powerful.

Tom Barrett created the following diagram for a post where he explored the impact of microblogging.

Tom Barrett Microblogging
Image by Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett said,

There is nothing wrong with the amber lit retweeting and sharing, but for many people we are sharing in an attempt to have the most impact on others. The micro engagement that occurs as people share without reading and, reposting content without engaging any further, is much more prevalent than the more in depth discussions of 10 years ago.

There’s definitely room for the amber, but think about the benefits that the green could bring to your professional life too.

Like all other aspects of building a PLN — what you get back is directly related to what you put in!

In an article for EdTech Review, Saomya Saxena explained how blogs are an essential part of an educator’s PLN,

Hence, blogs are one of the most significant online tools that can help you build your professional and personal learning networks. There’s no limit to the people we can connect with, be inspired by and stretch our professional wings with and blogging offers a great opportunity to do that. I feel that, blogs will be a must for anyone who wants to develop a PLN for himself, since it is the most open, creative and free way of sharing knowledge and expressing oneself. So embrace blogging in your daily lives and grow your learning networks personally as well as professionally.

Definitely food for thought.

Your Task

We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about PLNs by undertaking one or more of these challenges:

  1. Share a link to an educator’s blog that you enjoy reading. Tell us what the blog is about what you get out of following the blog. Also, mention how you stay updated with the blog. Do you just check from time to time? Do you have an email subscription? Or do you use a tool like Feedly or Flipboard?
  2. Set up Feedly and/or Flipboard, referring to the instructions in this post. Leave a comment to tell us how you went setting up the tool. Let us know who you subscribed to and why.
  3. Write a post on your blog with your own thoughts about using blogs as part of your PLN. Please include @edublogs if you tweet your post so we can share your post with our network. Leave a comment with a link to your post so we can read it! In your blog post, you might like to cover topics like:
    • How do you use blogs as part of your PLN?
    • What tips do you have for newbies?
    • What did you learn about using blogs for building a PLN that you didn’t know?
    • What do you like/not like about Feedly, Flipboard, email subscriptions, or blogs?

Also feel free to leave a comment to ask any questions or share your tips.

How to leave a comment: Scroll down to find the comment box. Write your comment, then enter your name and email address (email addresses are not published). Enter the anti-spam word. Press submit and we will moderate your comment ASAP.

395 thoughts on “Step 5: Using Blogs As Part Of Your PLN

  1. It was very easy for me to create a Feedly account I just continued with google. I decided to subscribe to Ted-ED because it was the number one followed and suggested under the hashtag #education. I was secondly drawn to this blogger because Youtube is their main platform. I would rather watch a video than read.

  2. https://deannajump.com/ is an amazing blog that features tons of really fun activities and lesson plans from her kindergarten classroom. She even shares tips for new teachers that show them how to organize their home/classroom spaces. Ms. Jump updates her blog, quite frequently, so the content is always fresh and up to date. I am not subscribed to her blog, although, she does have an option for that. I just check her blog periodically to see what lessons and activities she has shared. She also has her content linked to her Pinterest, which is another one of my favorite ways to browse for educational material.

  3. https://www.playdoughtoplato.com/ is a blog that I discovered while looking for remediation tools for some of my students struggling with CVC and CVCe words. This website has both free resources and highly discounted resources to use in the classroom for small group stations and whole group instruction with a focus on K-2nd grade literacy skills, with a focus on phonics. I stay updated with the blog through just checking it from time to time as well as following the creator on Instagram for any big news or exciting ways to teach information that I had not thought of before.

  4. A link to a blog that I follow is the “Cult of Pedagogy” blog found at this link: https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/blog/. The Cult of Pedagogy is a great PLN that I have benefited from in reforming my teaching practices and lessons. I check this blog from time to time when I am looking for advice or tips. I follow this blog through an email subscription.

  5. I subscribed to flipboard. i think this tool can be very powerful in addressing lesson and creating a different type of atmosphere for my classroom community. I am excited to see how I can implement clipboard into my lessons.

  6. I really like the blog Students of History – http://studentshistory.blogspot.com/

    What I like about this blog is that it provides a central resource for social studies teachers to share materials with one another. It can be really hard to come up with lesson plans entirely by yourself, and it is refreshing to see the ideas that other teachers come up with when thinking of activities to connect the content to long-term learning. The blog is not super updated, but it is nice to scroll through when looking for a source of inspiration or a second perspective on how to approach a different lessons. Another thing I enjoy about reading posts from history teachers is that they often share historical facts that I did not know myself, further strengthening my own knowledge breadth of knowledge.

  7. A blog I have recently started following via pinterest is called Kickin’ It In Kindergarten (kickinitinkindergarten.com) by a teacher named Elizabeth. I found her blog on pinterest where she posts different activities and tips from her classroom each day. It’s super helpful and very organized so you can find a variety of items that align with different content areas.

  8. Set up Feedly and/or Flipboard, referring to the instructions in this post. Leave a comment to tell us how you went setting up the tool. Let us know who you subscribed to and why.
    – So going on the site feedly they made it very simple to sign up you just click the get started and it asks for email, password and full name and that’s it! Then you click interests or search/browse blogs so I searched teaching to see what came up and ended up subscribing to Cool Cat Teacher (coolcatteacher.com) because she gives lots of tips to teachers not about teaching but about how to deal with your emotions from teaching and when experiencing burn out as well as helping the students.

  9. https://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/tel/ -Technology Enhanced Learning. This blog talks about how educators can use technology to enhance learning as well how to distantly connect with students especially during this pandemic. Many of the online tools can be used to support students in your face-to-face teaching sessions at the same time as students who are accessing remotely and those who cannot attend at the time. Using these tools will not only benefit the remote students. It improves your teaching so more of your students can engage in your teaching materials. As an educator I actually blog a lot for better understanding and ideas to support the needs of my students and also advance in my career. I love Pinterest and Ted talk and so much more.

  10. Share a link to an educator’s blog that you enjoy reading. Tell us what the blog is about what you get out of following the blog. Also, mention how you stay updated with the blog. Do you just check from time to time? Do you have an email subscription? Or do you use a tool like Feedly or Flipboard?
    https://www.lamaestraloca.com/blog/
    This blog is written by a lady called “La Maestra Loca.” She is a crazy World Language teacher who is passionate about inspiring her own students as well as other teachers around the world. I will get a lot from following this blog. Not only does she have ideas about Spanish/World Language tactics specifically, she also has some ideas about general teaching methods (especially when times are crazy like Covid-19). I do not have an email subscription, I would prefer to use Flipboard instead.

  11. A blog I enjoy reading is https://blog.kdp.org. Kappa Delta Pi is an International Teachers Honor Society I have been a part of. I find their blog post very helpful in that they collectively share and post different people’s blogs based on a topic. Therefore, I am not just stuck reading one educators/professionals blog I am exposed to different ones and their social media accounts are linked on the post. I have it setup so I get weekly updates, and I get their magazine delivered to my house monthly. I personally find this blog very useful and have used it for years.

  12. As an educator I actually blog a lot for better understanding and ideas to support the needs of my students and also advance in my career. I love Pinterest, Edutopia, Ted talk and so much more.

  13. A blog that I enjoy reading is Maniacs in the Middle (http://maniacsinthemiddle.com/) by Josie Bensko. Her blog has everything from engaging lessons to technology tips to classroom management strategies. The way that I would stay up to date with this blog is by checking it occasionally or reading it when she had links to it from social media posts. However, when visiting the site this last time I decided to subscribe to her emails so I can stay even more up to date on this platform. Through this blog, I have gained so many practical ideas that I can immediately implement into my classroom. Josie also has a variety of school-appropriate playlists on Spotify that my students absolutely love!

  14. A blog I enjoy reading is Free Tech 4 Teachers. As the name implies, this is a site dedicated to sharing tech tools for the classroom. This is a great site that I just used for some Halloween-themed activities for my students on a half day that is coming up. I have the page bookmarked and periodically go through it for anything new on a prep period.

  15. The blog I enjoyed reading is from: https://myadventuresinesl.com/blog/. This blog is about building relationships with ESL students and gives readers examples of how to set language learners up for success. I like this blog because it also includes podcasts of some of the topics. I personally enjoy listening to podcasts because I travel a lot and find myself listening to podcasts more than music. This blog does not have a subscription, but I saved this account to my podcast list and plan to stay updated with this account in the future by continuing to listening to them.

  16. I came across the blog the Mountain teacher (http://www.themountainteacher.com/). This blog was very organized. It also included an about me tab, link to Instagram and Facebook and a shop tab. On the side, blog posts are organized by category. This makes it easy to find posts when you’re looking for something in particular. This blog included lots of useful information related to the classroom and ideas. I look forward to using some of the ideas in her posts within my classroom. In order to keep up with this blog, I followed her on Instagram and Facebook. I turned my notifications on, so that I can see her new posts and stay updated.

  17. I’m going to be honest, I do not currently follow many educational blogs. I follow blogs that I enjoy reading just for fun, not for work. As I searched for blogs to explore and write about, I found Teachers Who Pray (https://www.teacherswhopray.org/blog/). Because my faith is important to me, I wanted to find something that would come from the perspective of teaching to the glory of God. I think this blog does just that. As I read a few of the blog posts there, I liked the frame of mind and the positivity that was conveyed. I hope to continue to follow it.

  18. https://www.teachertube.com/
    The blog shows instructional learning videos from a community of teachers that are there to help you learn more and engage your students. You can join specific communities that post certain subjects or topics. I’m a college student, so as of right now, I am not getting reminders or keeping up with the posts but I would like to in the future.

  19. I currently do not follow any blogs, but when I start to I will be utilizing Flipboard. After watching the video on it I think it’s a great tool to use. Not only does it collect all relevant articles, it puts them into a magazine format that I think is way easier to read and compare posts. It is also useful if you want to share these with other people or compile certain ones. I will consider making a Flipboard account in the future to use in my job.

  20. I tend to glean from a variety of blogs via Pinterest, based on the information I’m searching for at the time, rather than following one blog faithfully. But one education blog I return to to frequently is cultofpedagogy.com. The blog is pretty extensive, managed by a team of educators, and—while I’ve often found valuable information and resources from the personal blogs of teachers (and even homeschool moms)—I like the way Cult of Pedagogy is structured and that it is dependent on just one educator’s experience/opinion.

  21. I have a feedly account that I use to follow professional technology coaches. I usually check my feed once or twice per week. Most of the articles/blogs that pique my interest deal with technology integration in middle school as well as Ed Tech articles.

  22. I made a feely account and subscribed to Edutopia for educational resources and Teacher Tech, Free Technology for Teachers, and Cool Cat Teacher. It will be a great resource for learning about different technology to use with my classes.

  23. I really enjoy reading Kasey Bell’s blog.
    https://shakeuplearning.com/blog/
    Originally I was assigned a list of blogs to peruse before creating my own for an ITEC class and hers took my attention completely off of my assignment because I began reading her post about digital choice boards. I had been struggling to find a more engaging way for my students to work on their Greek and Latin root vocabulary practice and I was inspired to create a digital choice board for this purpose. I immediately signed up for her email newsletter because I don’t want to miss a thing!

  24. https://www.midwestteachersinstitute.org/teachers-helping-teachers-blog/

    I have recently found Midwest Teachers Institute blog and have really enjoyed being able to read blog posts about topics that are important to me. The blog posts here are created by teachers wanting to help other teachers to feel empowered as well as being able to give real world examples of things that are currently happening in their classrooms. I have always been the type of person who likes to have the truth given to me at the beginning instead of things being “sugar coated.” I know that this can come across harsh but I would rather expect the worst and plan for it and then have amazing changes come through at the last second to be able to make it a wonderful experience. I have made a calendar reminder for each month to check out there blog and keep up on the content that they are posting. This allows me to be focused on education and learning throughout that time frame.

  25. I really enjoy reading The TeachingBooks Blog (https://forum.teachingbooks.net/). As an educator I am always looking for good books to read aloud to my class and sometimes I feel like I do not know where to begin! This blog includes a virtual book tour, which is an “opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more” (TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour, n.d.). This blog includes so much useful information and gives me a starting point for some awesome books to introduce to my class.

    In order to keep up with this blog, I subscribed which means they email me when a new post is published, as well as a monthly digest of new content, and notifications of specific content customized to my preferences.

  26. I created a Feedly account. It was very easy to make. On the website you can search for various topics. I started my search with “education” where I found TED-Ed and began following it. The site then has you sort your follows into specific feeds, so you can have various topics but they are not all jumbled together. I do like that feature so I can keep things separate. That way I can view my teaching feeds and my coaching feeds separately. Another blog I chose to follow was “Teacher’s Tech” because the author creates video tutorials on online sites and resources. One I found particularly helpful was the video about using google sheets for formulas and the functions on there. That comes in handy when creating a google sheets grade book. I have enjoyed what I found through Feedly.

  27. https://educationblog.microsoft.com/en-us/
    I’ll be honest, I’ve never been one to follow blogs. However, as I was searching for some options, I found one from Microsoft that provides ideas for educators using Teams. I thought this would be a useful one to follow so I can keep up on any new features or tools that I might not otherwise notice. There is an option to subscribe, but I already have so many emails I have to sift through daily, so I plan to check it whenever I have questions or wanting to find a new way to connect with students online.

  28. This is my favorite art educator’s blog that I have enjoyed reading for many years. Dryden Art Blog is a practical guide to teaching the Visual Arts while integrating technology. I check the blog often and find technology integration lessons for using iPads is top notch.

    Dryden Art: https://drydenart.weebly.com/fugleblog

  29. http://www.teachthought.com/feed/
    I enjoy following this blog because is a place where people are free to post anything they feel will help others grow their education. There are questions/answers, podcasts, help posts, etc. I follow this post by checking it whenever I have some free time and want to read about other educators and things they are learning/experiencing.

  30. One blog that I like to read on occasion is found at https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs and I find that I can read all about a lot of things here. I mostly like reading it because it helps to keep me updated with what is going on in the world of education and what topics or issues educators are currently talking about.

  31. I chose to sign up for Flipboard because it looked a little easier to navigate than Feedly. I was able to subscribe to a few Twitter Accounts through Flipboard such as #edchat, but I am still struggling with creating a magazine. I keep getting an error stating that I need to confirm my email account, which I already did, in addition to logging in and out. I am going to give it 24 hours as I just signed up for Flipboard and I am wondering if it might just be that the account is so new. To be continued.

  32. It was really simple to set up a Feedly account. I signed up with my info then created a few feed folders. I added subscribed to Free technology for teachers.

  33. I have found many blogs that I like to watch on YouTube I cannot remember what they are all called but when you pull different things out of them all you really can get some amazing information.

  34. I know I have mentioned Ashley before, but Teach Create Motivate’s blog is incredible. She has so many great ideas and I love hearing what she has to say. She tends to share a lot of technology tips and classroom management systems. She is also big on student motivation and encouragement. I follow her on Instagram so this is usually how I find out when a new blog post is available but I also check from time to time.
    https://www.teachcreatemotivate.com/blog/

  35. For Step 5, I researched ELL educator blogs. I decided to share these two:
    https://www.empoweringells.com/category/blog – I like the layout and easy organization of this blog and I like that it has a podcast as well. The blogger collaborates with many specialists in the ELL field and has offered self-paced courses in ELL teaching.
    http://everythingesl-everythingesl.blogspot.com – I came across this blog in Week 4, when we created our professional symbaloo. Although, it has not had very many new posts, the posts that it does have are meaningful and very informative. I loved reading about silent period in ELLs as I currently have a student who does not verbalize yet. Judie Haynes, the owner of this blog is also a co-founder and co-moderator of #ELLchat, where she is currently more active than on her original blog.
    I enjoyed the step 5 very much and after reading it I realized, that blogs might be “my cup of coffee” for creating my PLN. To be honest, before I read through this information, I did not know the difference between a website and a blog, even though I follow several of them for my personal interests.

  36. I chose to find a blog that I enjoyed. I found that “Simply Special Ed” was a blog that I very much liked. It was well organized- I was able to learn more about who the creators of the blog were and what their mission is. They have links to articles about adapting curriculum to fit special education students’ needs, and they even have links that help teachers with their resumes and interviews. If a person only wants information on high school resources, they can click on a link that will take them to just that level. The same goes for elementary and middle school. To stay updated, all I had to do was enter my email address and I received updates and notifications through my email. I think that other special educators should definitely look into this site!

    https://www.simplyspecialed.com/category/blog/

  37. A blog that I actually was introduced to by one of my professors is The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/pod/. This podcast is for teachers and addresses a wide range of topics from different approaches to the curriculum or building and maintaining positive relationships in the classroom. I am not subscribed or anything but I do check periodically or just go on there to browse through the different podcasts because I haven’t listened to all of them.

  38. Set up was simple and I feel this will be beneficial in my career and home life.
    I followed #art because I feel that it is important to understand students artistic side and incorporate that into understanding students
    I followed #mentalhealth because mental health plays a HUGE role in everyday life and I feel that in students it goes unnoticed often.
    I also followed #technology because technology is becoming more and more prominent in everyday life and I want to be informed about the technology that my students are using.

  39. https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/blog/education-and-path-equity-series?gclid=CjwKCAjwx6WDBhBQEiwA_dP8rfYpZEBXl4OPBtAjNudDBHvj4S6tWiHHsubQJ8725JVVlCBHpEul3xoCTIMQAvD_BwE

    I found this blog quite by accident, and merely check in from time to time to see what is new. However, what makes this such a valuable resource is how it discusses hard topics and addresses problems within education. It can be difficult to address certain topics, or not know how to answer if it is brought up, but this blog provides a very valuable standpoint on these topics.

  40. I regularly follow http://maniacsinthemiddle.com/. This is not something that I really stay up to date on, by checking her blog/website, but she keeps her Instagram super active and links things from her blog, there. Although my focus is on elementary level education, the things that she posts about what she does in middle school and how she sets things up, help me learn what works and doesn’t in the classroom setting, all while looking super cute too!

  41. An educator’s blog that I enjoy reading is called “I <3 EDU,” by Meagan Kelly. On her blog, Meagan shares activities to be done in the classroom, ideas, and support for teachers. I enjoy her blog because of how passionate she is for teaching, and she is honest about what works and what doesn’t. The blog offers an email subscription, however, at this time I am not subscribed to it. I typically find this blog through a Google search and pull it up when I need inspiration or support.

  42. Blogs are a great way to share multiple types of information to numerous people, as well as having it for yourself to look at in the future. Blogs are a resource that can take on diverse formats and provide knowledge in individualistic ways. Blogs can be centered around activities or general knowledge, or it can be a recounting of specific occurrences and advice. I think incorporating blogs is a fantastic way to both keep track of personal progress while also amassing new information.

  43. One thing that I noticed in setting up my blogs has been the need to approve comments. I didn’t think about that type of maintenance behind blogs. The advice on approving comments quickly makes a lot of sense in order to build communication with subscribers and promote conversation between folks. I don’t know if it’s my internet connection or not, but Feebly and Flipboard won’t open for me. As for teacher blogs, I typically follow Cult of Pedagogy. There are other forums such as fishtank that offer excellent teaching materials and reflections from teachers. I have not been able to maintain my own blog on a consistent level. I think that if I can focus the scope of my blog, then I would be able to update it more frequently. A blog without specified intentions feels overwhelming, so my advice would be to narrow down a focus for the blog.

  44. In response to the first prompt, the blog of an educator I like is @thecrazycreativeteacher on tiktok. This is not your average blog and she shares her information through videos. She has a few series she does often which are teacher tip tuesday and after the last bell rings. For the first one she shares tips for teachers to try in their own classrooms. For the second one she shows what she does when she leaves school and how she wraps up her day after teaching. I especially like her because she uses a very new mode of technology to enhance learning and to share with others.

  45. I really like the blog Pocketful of Primary. https://www.pocketfulofprimary.com/
    I usually keep up with her through YouTube! I do occasionally prefer to read the information given and peruse the free organizational tools she has, but I am better at paying attention to videos. I think that the woman who runs this blog is so positive and creative! She really has impacted the way I want to organize my class. She also has a really large community of teachers that follow and communicate with her, so it’s a great resource for me as well to connect with other educators.

  46. http://applefortheteach.blogspot.com
    One of the blogs I think is great is called “An Apple For The Teacher”. The writer of this blog is Kelly Malloy, who is a 4th grade teacher and shares a number of great resources for teachers on her page! You can find fun activities, inspirational posts, and enter great giveaways like a chance to win a Teachers Pay Teachers gift card! Kelly updates her blog twice a week so I typically just check her site from time to time.

  47. I love blogs I follow a variety of people not only within our class, but also outside on social media sites such as Instagram. For example my old fifth grade teacher has her blog indented within her Instagram for people to read weekly. I find blogs so informative and intriguing as there are ideas or resources spoken about that I have personally never thought of. I enjoy it other educators informing other educators, this is nice I learn so much from others words and ideas.

  48. Blogs can be such a helpful resource for someone’s PLN. Blogs can host a multitude of great articles and resources for teachers to refer to. They often have great ideas that can easily be brought into the classroom. The education blog I am most familiar with is https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/. This blog has a blog section, a podcast section, and a videos section to help educators learn new skills.

  49. I chose to try out Feedly and it was fairly simple to make an account and navigate through the site. I chose to subscribe to The Cult of Pedagogy, What the Teacher Wants, and Classroom Freebies. I was already familiar with The Cult of Pedagogy podcast and blog because one of my teachers frequently assigns podcast episodes for class assignments and discussions. Feedly makes it easy to see what they are posting and provides a simple way to get to the different podcast episodes and blog posts with the click of a button. What the Teacher Wants provides different tools and resources that can be used in the classroom, and I thought it would be cool to comb through and see what all they have to offer and what I can potentially use in my own classroom one day. Classroom Freebies is pretty similar because it provides us with free resources, websites, and materials we can use in our classrooms. I’m excited to keep searching for people to subscribe to on Feedly because I’ve only scratched the surface of what they have to offer.

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