The following article is the second in a series of collaborative efforts by the K-12 blogging team of Dean J. Fusto (www.teachlearnlead.org),
Assistant Principal, Tiawana Giles (https://tiawanag.wordpress.com) (@tiawanag), and
Anthony Poullard (www.thepoullard.wordpress.com).
Traditionally, blogging is characterized as a solo journey of sharing ideas and interacting with others in a space without time constraints or geographical boundaries. Blogging is a format many individuals use to share their passion about a particular topic and those things that resonate with them. Given the popularity of Twitter, blogging has become an extremely popular way to connect with a broad, diverse network of teachers and educational thought leaders..
Collaborative blogging, however, augments traditional blogging by designing interdependence between two or more individuals. In addition, it presents an opportunity to team up with colleagues across the K-12 landscape, share perspectives at great depth, and craft blog posts that reflect the collaborative energy, effort, and spirit of like-minded K-12 educators.
Finding and Forming Your Collaborative Team
Social media is a powerful tool, and an effective way to challenge and validate your thinking while connecting with others to share ideas. During a recent Twitter chat, the authors who comprise this K-12 team partnership connected about strategies to develop and strengthen one’s professional learning network. We chatted purposefully and identified the professional values that we had in common: learning, sharing, and connecting with others. During that chat, we decided to hold each other accountable, contribute to the education conversation together, and encourage one another throughout the process.
Our team of elementary and high school leaders spans the spectrum of K-12 public and independent school education. Consequently, we target a wide variety of topics that supports all stakeholders in education (from students & parents to educators & administrators). Check out our first post 5 Pathways to Productive and Purposeful Professional Development of Relevant and Meaningful Pathways of Professional Learning.
Collaborative Blogging: Tools and Touchstones
The best tool for our collaborative exercise was GoogleDocs. We used it to create a shared space where we could brainstorm ideas and co-construct a blog post that represented our ideas. Our process included identifying a topic of interest, developing an idea from seed to flower, and negotiating appropriate grammatical and content revisions to yield a final product. We formatted our final draft to post to our individual websites and share with our respective PLN. Our subsequent engagement with the broader social media community was easy. We decided to schedule tweets to different educational hashtags and hope our PLN would share feedback with us.
As we move forward as a blogging team, we will continue to explore what is trending in educational research and social media communities. The ongoing conversation with professionals in our networks will serve as inspiration for continued collaborative blogging on other hot, topical issues. We aim to provide energy and engagement on topics of interest to our PLN and a broader, global audience. We would appreciate hearing diverse views on topics and look forward to sharing relevant articles, books, and blogs.