Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Blogging as Professional Learning: D214 Highlights!

Written by Linda Ashida

In the Collab Lab, our work is guided first and foremost by our goal to transform learning; learning for students and staff.  We continually strive to foster connections to multiply our learning. Over the course of this year we have been reminded over and over again about the tremendous impact that blogging can have on professional learning.  This post will highlight the impact of our Collab Lab Blog, and will also share the blogs of other colleagues at Elk Grove High School and throughout District 214. Please check them out!  Consider leaving comments for the authors!  If you know other D214 blog authors, please let us know and we'll update this post.

The Collab Blog
Just this morning I received an email from a colleague who was interested in preparing some videos for student learning.  She had heard of the apps ShowMe, Explain Everything, and Educreations.  She wondered which app would be the best.  My initial response was to suggest that she come down to the Collab Lab to talk with us, but then I remembered that one of our teachers, Quinn Loch had written a Guest Post for our Collab Blog that was a review of those very apps!  So, I still invited her to stop by the Collab Lab (we would love to meet with her to learn more about her plans and support her work!), but I directed her to first check out Quinn's Blog post, and then other EG colleagues, like Kirsten Fletcher, Mark Heintz and Christina Barnum, who had also written about their use of those apps.  After this exchange I couldn't help but think about how our Collab Blog has really had an impact on professional learning at EG:  The authors learn through the reflective process of writing the post; the blog serves as a way to document and curate our learning; and, our posts multiply our collaboration and connections with others.

In addition to the example above, there have been many other occasions that colleagues have mentioned to us that they have used the Collab Blog as a resource for their own teaching. For example, after Katie Owen did a Peer Learning Workshop on Using Notability to Engage Students, we wrote a blog post to document and share her work with others.  Several teachers reported to us how happy they were to have that post a guide,  and to implement the same strategies in their own classes.

We look forward to continuing our daily posts to document and multiply learning even more! Moving forward, we would especially like to encourage more guest posts. Guest posts can be written by staff, students and community members. If you have a teaching /learning experience to share, please let us know!

In addition to the Collab Blog, the Collab Lab team considers Twitter to be an important micro-blogging platform to document and share our work, via the Collab Lab Twitter account and the use of the hashtag #EG1to1.  Check them out!

And, we have a challenge for you! If you are hesitant to blog yourself, why not think of Twitter as your first step to blogging. You could set a goal to document and share learning experiences in your classroom with photos and tweets just a few times a week.  It is such an easy and great way to curate your learning experiences with your students for your own reflection. At the end of the year, you'll be happy to scroll through your tweets and see the "year in review." And, if you add #EG1to1 to your tweets you'll be able to share and connect more broadly with students, colleagues, parents and the community!

And, check out these other District 214 Blogs:

This is Why We Write
Blog written by Kim Miklusak,  English Teacher and Department Technology Coach at Elk Grove High School.

Inaugural blog post on "Medium" written by Kristen Gierman,  Social Science Teacher and Coach at Elk Grove High School.

Spotlight on Innovation
A series of weekly posts on "Medium" written by Teresa Buczinsky,  English Teacher and Division Technology Coach at Prospect High School.

Blog written by Jeff Vlk,  Innovative Technology Facilitator at Buffalo Grove High School.

Buffalo Grove HS Learning and Instruction
Blog written by Jill Maraldo, Associate Principal for Instruction at Buffalo Grove High School.

Do you know other D214 bloggers?  Please let us know so we can add them to this post!

Do you have other favorite educational blogs?  Let us know! We'll write another post soon, highlighting some of our favorite blogs from beyond District 214.

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