My almost sixteen year old daughter and I recently shared a good laugh (deservedly at my expense) remembering the time I told her she was never ever to blog. It must have been about five years ago, which now seems an eternity. Listening to nervous naysayers rather than investigating and learning for myself, I perceived blogs to be personal diaries inappropriately and self-indulgently shared with the world. I openly confess; interacting on the internet frightened me. Web 2.0 was a term I only vaguely understood and I had not yet heard of a “digital footprint” or “digital citizenship”. As an educator and a parent, I was warned by wise experts in the field to teach my students and my children Internet safety. Dutifully, I brought in speakers about internet safety to school. Like so many parents, when I allowed my daughter to have a Facebook page I reviewed with her my expectations, which included that she never ever accept a friend request from anybody she hadn’t actually met. Be careful, I warned. The advice was heartfelt and appropriate. It’s just that I hadn’t yet recognized my responsibility also to support her, along with my son and my students, to be creative and collaborative. Sharing, albeit with appropriate caution, is vital.
In time, I realized how misinformed I had been about blogging and social media, developing the habit of reading the blogs of educational thinkers from around the globe on a daily basis. I can no longer imagine professional life without interactions with a wide network of individuals writing from the trenches – principals, teachers, instructional coaches, parents and even students. These reflective musings have become a blessing to me, as I have learned from the successes and also from the mistakes of others willing to share. And so, albeit a reluctant blogger intially, I join in conversation, hoping to reflect, struggle, dream and engage with others exploring ways to nurture our children’s learning and support our children in building character.
Comments on: "Introduction of a Reluctant Blogger" (4)
Welcome to the world of blogging, Shira! I loved your first post… There is so much fear instilled by people who don’t engage via social media themselves. If only they realized how far the benefits outweigh the dangers! Of course we need to teach our kids and our students to be aware and sensible, just like they do in real life interactions. But there’s a while world of people out there we can interact with, learn from, collaborate with. How lucky we are to live in times when this is possible. I have learned more through engaging on social media in the last few years than I did in the preceding 30 years of experience in education!
Learning with wise educators like you during this past year has enriched my understanding and practice immeasurably. I wish it hadn’t taken me quite so long to understand the benefits of learning with social media, but so grateful to be now engaged in a world of people like you with whom to interact, learn, and collaborate. Thanks so much for you comment and for the ongoing sharing!
I am glad you are on this blogging journey as I can learn with you – keeping the conversations going is critical for reflection and for putting things into perspective.
As for blogging in general I have mixed feelings. There are good and bad things about this venture as I have often found that many blogs are an echo of the same ideas and practices.
You have stretched my thinking, at times pointing at to me when I may be echoing the same ideas and practices of others and not considering all of the implications of my words. I have appreciated our dialogue tremendously and look forward to being able to engage in more substantive reflection together. Thanks so much for your comment, encouragement, and astute reminder to be mindful of both the good and the bad in this venture of blogging.