So today I had the opportunity to talk with a group of educators – virtually – about the power of blogs in education. Although we ended up cruising through my own blog specifically, there are some points to be made in general about blogs and their purpose and place in an educational setting…
First, the reason I blog is to communicate about mathematical thinking, best practice in numeracy and sound pedagogy with a wide and varied audience. My site is visited by teachers, administrators, support staff, math coordinators, teacher educators, parents and students around BC and around the world. It’s humbling to know that my words, ideas and beliefs are being broadcast so widely. As a result, I feel a great responsibility to communicate and to share the best I can through this forum. I know that the blog itself has been translated into other languages and is being read by many; perhaps even by people new to the education system in BC or in Canada, who are concerned with math teaching and learning… I hope that this window into what I believe mathematics could and should be – taught in a constructivist way, with open-ended tasks structured to address diversity and to challenge all learners – is illuminating, and that the tasks and links posted here are helpful in demonstrating the point.
And now for a little critical reflection… Truth is, I have learned a lot about myself as an educator by writing it all down here. It’s interesting for me to trace back through the posts here and to see how my voice evolved over the last 2 years – how in establishing my purpose and my audience, I was able to focus the content and the message far more clearly. I like my blog more now, and in reading through the statistics for the site, I can see exactly what it is that my readers/visitors like as well. I know the kinds of posts that are most popular, the math games that get the most hits, and the numeracy topics that are most interesting to people. I can also see what people are looking for in their “googling”; what terms they enter in a search engine to bring up the blog… fascinating reading for the insomniac among us… :o)
I hope that some of you will consider blogging with your students, with your parents or in some educational forum. For me it has rounded out my teaching – giving me a way to contact those with whom I work, to provide resources and a sounding board when needed, and to allow me a place to reflect on my own practice. What could be better?
Feel free to add your comments below!