Before this week, I primarily thought of Social Networking as something you did at home, on your personal time, regarding personal things. At least, that was my experience with social networking. This week has brought to light that blogging is a form of social networking. While I have not blogged with my students, I know many teachers who have and have had great things to say about it. Through blogs teachers and students are able to communicate with each other and others from around the world. It’s amazing to think about how much technology has opened the world up to our students. It is not up to us as their teachers to provide them with the opportunities to safely do so.
I have continued to talk about blogging with my students and giving them opportunities to do so. I have not yet embarked on this journey. My excuses have been holding me back; I don’t want to invest the time, I personally do not like blogging, I don’t want the responsibility, I worry about their safety. When looking back at my excuses, I realize that they are all centered around me and not what is best for my students. I am fortunate enough to work in a district that has provided me with the tools and opportunities; I just need to take advantage of them.
Going into next year one of my goals is to embrace these opportunities for my students and teach them how to be responsible digital citizens. I am going to invest the time early in the year to teach safe practices. I think I am going to rely on the policy we created to launch me and then adapt it as I get to know my students and their individual needs. I will start small to build confidence and then increase the opportunities and activities I create for my students. My hope is that after I create a community of bloggers, they will take ownership and my involvement will decrease.
I am excited to go into this next school year armed with new tools. I am excited for my students and the experiences they will gain. I am excited to see them grow as writers and develop a deeper love of writing. I am excited to share what I have learned about social networking with my teaching partners. I hope that through my enthusiasm, I can encourage them to try blogging with their students as well.