Always looking for new innovations. Always looking for the next big thing. Always looking for what’s on the cutting edge. I’ve been described that way many times, but in the quest of staying ahead of the curve to quench my unquenchable thirst for “new” I often find myself forgetting about the things that I’ve shared with others. Yes, I’ve become one of these people that I swore I didn’t want to grow up to be. One, that tells others what to do without doing it myself. So after over 15 years in the education business, it’s time for me to #practicewhatyoupreach. I can’t think of a more appropriate topic to start this adventure than blogging: having discovered this “new thing” called blog in early 2000 (thanks to Graymatter and Moveable Type) and played with it for a little while in my private life, I decided to share the idea of a blog as a tool to facilitate international partnerships between language teachers. French and Spanish teachers from across Kentucky set up their blogs and along with their students introduced their hometowns and invited teachers and students at their partner school to do the same. These teachers were connecting, collaborating in 21st century ways before it became “cool” to do so. With the exception of a few online friends I’ve made in those early blogging days most private blogs though seem to disappear as the media, politics, business and the entertainment industry discovered blogs by 2004 and social media was born soon thereafter.
A couple of my now educational heroes of course have continued blogging and have contributed in large part to my own thinking. In that lies the power of blogging. It doesn’t matter if you’re just reading blogs anonymously from time to time as they show up on your social media timelines, you are thinking in new ways because you are reading. It doesn’t matter if you are a regular reader of blogs who has curated her own lists of blogs using some kind of online service and even comments from time to time on interesting posts, you are thinking in new ways because you are reading and writing. I admit, I’ve been reading my fair share of blogs over the past 15 years and probably should take an afternoon to clean up my reeder, but there are few things that have shifted my thinking more than that daily morning routine of going through the blogs of educators. Of course I don’t always agree with them, but just seeing their thoughts in writing on many days leaves me thinking about my own beliefs, my own practices and hopefully from now own my own writing.