We Put Education Blogs and Bloggers Under Scrutiny

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Long before Twitter, Facebook and other social networks gave me an endless stream of content, most of my education information came from blogs.

Education bloggers are a unique fraternity; if you doubt this, just ask your colleagues if they have their own blogs. Although I have no empirical data on this, I’m guessing there aren’t more than a couple of bloggers at your school, and since you’re reading this, you are probably one of them.

It took me some time to get on board (I did start my how-to video site Learn it in 5 many years ago), but eventually, I decided to join this unique fraternity of education bloggers, and Brilliant or Insane was born.

Why do bloggers blog?

Most blogs are used for marketing purposes or as news services. You may be reading them daily and not even realize that you’re reading a blog. If you visit The Huffington Post, Mashable, or The Next Web, you’ve been reading very popular blogs. These high-traffic websites are just like old newspapers. They have multiple sections and employ a variety of writers. Oh, and they make big bucks through advertising.

Education bloggers, for the most part, are a different breed of blogger. Few are in it for the money. Some have gained very high traffic and do very well with advertisers. Free Technology for Teachers and TeachThought are a couple of examples. These education blogs attract hundreds of thousands of visitors monthly.

If audiences are small, most education blogs attract only a few hundred readers or less monthly, why do teachers, some of the busiest people in the world, spend so much time churning out so much content? For some, the reason is as simple as reflection or the joy of sharing.

H. Wilson, a biology teacher and and co-founder of #biochat on twitter, blogs at Wilson’s Flipped Lab. He writes about flipping education and technology in the classroom, among other topics, and his reason for writing is simple:

Responding to #WhyIBlog via twitter.com

Education blogger’s response to #WhyIBlog on twitter.com

Teacher/librarian Robbie Barber’s Caught in Middle School blog has been around since 2012, making it far more than a child in blogging years. Barber often writes about (what else?) books, which she likes to share with students and teachers:

Education blogger's response to #WhyIBlog on twitter.com

Education blogger’s response to #WhyIBlog on twitter.com

Education technology guru Sandy Kendell, a longtime Twitter friend, writes a blog I’ve been reading longer than almost any — EdTechSandyK. A well-known speaker, Kendell blogs for several reasons:

Education blogger's response to #WhyIBlog on Twitter

Education blogger’s response to #WhyIBlog on Twitter

iStudent cover artWhile they may not define blogging this way, these education bloggers are content curators. That is, they create, maintain and share information across a variety of social media platforms. Curation is arguably the most underrated 21st-century skill, and one we must pass along to students. It’s connected educators, like the ones mentioned in this post, and the many other education bloggers curating content, leading the way in a new age of digital learning.

So, why do education bloggers blog? Why isn’t important. They just do, and because they do, education is better.

Are you blogging? If not, what’s holding you back. Share your thoughts along with how we can help in the comment section below.

Learn more about connected educators in Mark Barnes' new book
Teaching the iStudent: A Quick Guide to Using Mobile Devices and Social Media in the K-12 Classroom, available for pre-order now
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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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