Thoughts on culture, education, and having been a Canadian in the US
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Teachers who blog, or is it bloggers who teach?

Earlier this month, I led a workshop at the wonderful Teachers Who Write (PDF) conference in Montpelier. Sponsored annually by the Vermont Council of Teachers of English Language Arts, The National Writing Project in Vermont, and the Vermont Department of Education, the conference brought hundreds of teachers together to attend workshops and network. It was a fabulous event and I hope to go back next year as an attendee.

I’d hoped to get this post online in time for my presentation at the conference as a sort of virtual handout, but grading and other end of semester chaos got in the way. Finally, though, here are links to some of the things I told the two groups of interesting teachers who came to hear what I had to say about blogging and podcasting.

I frequently give a short presentation at the UVM Center for Teaching and Learning‘s “Blogging Your Course” workshop at UVM and this 2005 post summarizes what I usually talk to them about.

As I’ve said on this blog before, starting to read blogs and creating your own personal/professional blog, to me, will have a far greater impact on one’s daily academic life than creating course blogs. Blogs are a great teaching tool and these days I can’t really envision myself teaching without a blog for each class, but if I had to choose one or the other I’d probably ditch my course blogs and keep my own one running.

One of the things I always tell faculty from UVM, and I repeated this at the Montpelier workshop, is that it’s not at colleges and universities where we’re seeing the most cutting edge uses of blogging in the classroom. It’s actually in the k-12 classroom, and sometimes right in those earliest grades. I had a great chance last year to help lead the month-long summer writing workshop put on by the National Writing Project in Vermont and, after spending all of July working alongside teachers from across the state, I found myself more enthused about teaching than I’ve been before (and I have always loved that part of my job).

As part of that summer 2006 workshop, I gave a presentation called “The text in the machine: Writing, publishing, and the blogosphere” in which I talked about blogging and talked about some of the best practices I’ve seen in the k-12 context. My virtual handout for that presentation can be found here, and it encompasses a lot of what I had to say a couple of weeks ago in Montpelier. For this latest presentation, I also found a number of new examples of some great blogging work going on in the K-12 context and you’ll find those links below.

What follows are some of the links I showed everyone in my latest workshop.

Creating a blog

Externally hosted services:


Typepad ($)



Server-based solutions:



Key Resources for educators

weblogg-ed, the blog of Will Richardson.

WIll Richardson’s book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms is an invaluable resource

EduBlog Insights (lots of great info and links to class blogs)

Best practices

Blogical Minds (5th grade)

Excellence and Imagination (grades 7/8)

Joseph H. Kerr School, Snow Lake, Manitoba

AP Calculus

Darren Kuropatwa

Room 9 Nelson Central’s Blog (Ages 6-7, Nelson, NZ)

Podcasting Tools

Audacity (a free sound editing tool for all platforms)

garageband (Apple’s amazing audio software has some great features specifically designed for recording podcasts)

iPods with microphones attached or any other mp3 players with recording capabilities

A few more links worth checking out:

Blogging 101–Web logs go to school | CNET

David Warlick’s thoughts on School 2.0

Stay on top of your field with feeds

Weblogg-ed: It’s the empowerment, stupid


1 Web Design { 05.30.07 at 5:41 am }

Thats a very good post. I want to add some to this post. List of Free Blog Directories, where u can submit your blogs free, to promote. URL:

2 Tim Dillard { 06.07.07 at 7:45 am }

I was browsing the web for something like this and found it here on Nice original thought.
Thanks for this great post.

3 Deb { 06.29.07 at 2:43 am }

Very interesting blog.

4 B Kurlek { 07.03.07 at 8:44 pm }

The popularity of blog is somewhat amazing and a phenomonem of our times.
Although there are blogs on every topic the highest percentage seem to be on human interest – sort of like a modern “Coronation Street”
Why the popularity ? In the case of public interest blogs – a high percentage of the readers are women. An observation is that men read technical books , women in many cases like to read novels which often have the characters work through life’s issues and questions through the relationships in their lives. So is the modern female smut blog.
Blogs are rather amazing in that it gives the person an easy to use webpage with relatively sophisticated yet intuitive or at least similar to the word processors people use either with microsoft word or open office or writing emails.
In essence blogs have given the ordinary person easy access to a webpage of their own – no hosting arrangment or ftps setup needed if it is a free wordpress or blooger google blog.
In essence the hosting of web pages has been democraticized and made easy.
Most websites , if you think of it , do not change much whereas that is the whole point of a blog or weblog. Yet the blog can be searched for information.

5 Ashley { 07.22.07 at 2:54 am }

Teachers dont blog… or do they?

6 uwodzenie { 07.26.07 at 8:14 am }

Excellent blog!!!

7 webdirectory { 08.08.07 at 4:27 am }

I’m a teacher, i blog :)))))

8 internet marketing services { 08.25.07 at 1:37 pm }

bloggers definitely teach!!

9 Phil Dufault { 09.07.07 at 5:28 pm }

Blogging for teachers is an excellent resource for their students, as the teacher/prof can keep course-material updated and current, easily.
Also, a real-life application of the what they’re teaching certainly doesn’t hurt.

10 Senjaya Khoo { 09.22.07 at 1:29 pm }

depends on people intention to build their blog, he can act as teacher to their readers or just be bloggers that teach the others.

11 SlackAlice { 10.04.07 at 7:52 am }

I am a teacher and I blog, but on subjects I am passionate about, not necessarily the curriculum I teach.

12 Ke Xu { 10.07.07 at 12:55 pm }

Thank you for this great site. Your “link Teachers Who Write PDF)” somehow is not working. Coul dyou check about it?
Ke Xu

13 Paul Martin { 10.08.07 at 10:18 am }

Unfortunately, that link seems to work no longer.

14 Patrick Louis { 10.13.07 at 7:22 am }

The needs for blogging is becoming a necessity to a lot of folks. I knew teachers who blog, but never seen them using blog to teach.

15 Chris Olstrom { 10.29.07 at 1:44 pm }

Blogs provide an accessible way for individuals to share their expertise (or even just knowledge) with others, and it is this trait that makes blogs a valuable educational resource.
My access to knowledge is no longer limited by where I study, or what books I can get ahold of, or who I can communicate with. I can take in a sea of information from hundreds of authors (all a few keystrokes away), and make their knowledge mine.
RSS feeds are especially valuable for this.

16 Mike { 11.15.07 at 7:49 am }

Blogs provide an accessible way for individuals to share their expertise (or even just knowledge) with others, and it is this trait that makes blogs a valuable educational resource.
My access to knowledge is no longer limited by where I study, or what books I can get ahold of, or who I can communicate with. I can take in a sea of information from hundreds of authors (all a few keystrokes away), and make their knowledge mine.

17 Anonymous { 11.19.07 at 2:06 am }

Blogging is the way of the future. The way i see it is that static sites will soon be obsolete. Those with static sites will have to evolve or die.

18 Real Estate { 11.20.07 at 2:41 pm }

I think that it is important for teachers to have blogs. they can use them to teach as well as supply information about class projects. the mind is important real estate and should be improved upon!

19 sean { 11.24.07 at 5:46 pm }

Teachers should have blogs to interact with students and the community.

20 web design { 04.06.08 at 5:15 pm }

very interesting .. at this point IMHO it’s teachers who blog .. when the Internet takes over and none of us leave home for school then it will be bloggers who teach .. 😉

21 web internet marketing { 04.13.08 at 7:24 pm }

Gathering ideas and input from the online community is essential to understanding what is driving the thoughts and minds of contemporary and active thinkers, and as such should be essential to teaching many topics.

22 Dr. Bardou { 04.17.08 at 9:56 am }

Sir, can you write more notes about edublogs for teachers?

23 dissertation help { 04.24.08 at 5:39 am }

its good for both teachers and students to have an updated blog. I am a student and I BLOG 🙂

24 Webdesign { 05.01.08 at 7:04 am }

I belive that Blogging for teachers is an excellent resource for their students

25 joseph cotroneo { 05.01.08 at 3:58 pm }

It is certain that the lines of communication would be more open if a teacher had a blog. plus the ability to post relevant material to a students needs would be most helpful.

26 Mark Jarmel { 05.24.08 at 12:03 am }

I agree with you that Blogs can be great teaching tools. As a former Special Ed teacher, I think it’s fascinating that you’ve found they’re being most creatively used at the K-12 level.

27 Genewize { 08.22.08 at 5:43 am }

It’s incredible how the blogging community has grown. I’m really enjoying watching the teaching community embrace technology like blogging and live virtual classrooms like WizIQ. Very cool stuff.
The premise of the post is interesting. I think everyone is a teacher. Many of the same methods teachers use are also used by bloggers, simply because they are effective ways to communicate ideas.