Seth Godin and Tom Peters on blogging. Yeah, this is pretty much why I blog (and maybe why you should too)…
Why would anyone who wishes to actually reach educators and hopefully influence change in schools not be blogging?
Also… why haven’t more faculty caught on to this?
Eight years later, I thought that I would share a couple of recent tables that I made in order to illustrate this point further. The first table is the number of academic citations that I have received on the top 20 things that I have written or created (according to Google Scholar). My citation numbers are decent if not spectacular; they’ve been enough to get me tenure at several of our nation’s top research institutions.
The second table shows the number of page views and comments that I have received on my top 20 blog posts.
No comparison in terms of reach, visibility, interaction, and (hopefully) impact. The percentage of university faculty members who are blogging – although better than it was 8 years ago – is still incredibly low. We pay the price in terms of public and policymaker awareness of and attention to our work.
Today is the 10th birthday of Dangerously Irrelevant. I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for an entire decade. It seems like just yesterday that I was at the University of Minnesota and considering whether a blog might be a good idea (it was). Although I still feel young (‘I’m not dead yet!’), I believe that a decade of continuous blogging may make me one of the elders of the edublogosphere (for example, using the word ‘edublogosphere’ most definitely dates me!).
A huge thank you to everyone who is a loyal reader and to all of you who have been willing to engage with what I share. I have learned an incredible amount due to your willingness to leave comments, extend conversations, suggest resources, connect me with others, tell me that what I just wrote was stupid, and so on. Together we are amazingly powerful. I am greatly appreciative of my last ten years of learning with you.
Although it’s been a quiet summer here as I have navigated selling a home, buying a home, relocating my family, starting a new job, and sending my oldest child off to her first year at college, you better believe that I will be ramping up here again in the next week or so. Looking forward to the next decade of blogging!
Today is Dangerously Irrelevant’s 9th birthday. That’s a long time in blogging years (sometimes I feel ancient even though I’m not that old yet). Most of the educators whose amazing voices inspired me in those early days are no longer blogging. A few of us continue to write and, of course, new voices have joined us. And left us.
Over the past nine years I’ve learned some things about blogging specifically and about social media generally. Here are a few random thoughts that strike me this morning…
- The death of the comment. Blog comments used to be the ties that bound us together. It was not uncommon for us early education bloggers to receive dozens – and occasionally hundreds – of comments. That deep, rich discussion was exhilarating and spurred us to think and write even more. Today we’re lucky to get a few tweets. The growth of different writing and sharing outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Medium, tumblr, YouTube, etc.), the overall greater number of voices that have diffused online mindshare, and the rise of both shorter-form feedback mechanisms (likes, tweets, shares) and large, well-funded corporate and/or group blogs all have reduced the on-blog interactivity that many of us individuals used to see. I don’t lament this state of affairs since my work is arguably shared more than ever but I confess that I remain extremely grateful for every comment that I receive and do my best to respond to as many as possible.
- Lack of attribution. My stuff gets ‘stolen’ all the time. I had a dustup last year with a very prominent writer / speaker whom I discovered had used my material almost-verbatim in numerous paid presentations and a published book, including proprietary material for which I had gotten special copyright permission to use. There was no possible way for the use to be accidental since it was clearly modified ‘just enough’ in a few places to be slightly different. We had a few exchanges on the matter and I moved on. On a smaller scale, I see things that I have said or written all over the place, often without attribution or credit. So I was sympathetic to Shelly Sanchez Terrell’s recent post calling out a prominent online educational leader for improper attribution (and Doug Peterson’s excellent concurrence). This individual is fairly notorious for playing fast and loose with attribution so it was good to see the person being called to account. Shelly was kind enough to do it anonymously – even though the person didn’t necessarily deserve it – and I’ve already seen some attempts by this individual to both remedy the specific instance in question as well as be more thoughtful in general. Personally, I decided long ago not to worry too much about this (with the exception noted above), figuring that I had bigger things to worry about than whether a few of my ideas and statements – which I want out there floating around – were properly attributed. That’s a personal decision and I completely understand others’ desire to take a different stance. Hopefully we all will remember the importance of proper attribution and will model for other educators and students this important linchpin of the Internet.
- What’s important. Voice is important. Passion is important. Authenticity is important. Helpfulness is important. Trust is important.
- Kindness. Despite almost a decade in this social media space, I continue to be astounded by the kindnesses that educators extend to each other on a daily basis. Our sharing, our support, our willingness to lend a helpful hand or a critical eye or a sympathetic shoulder… all are commendable. Despite the occasional hiccups and bumps in the road that inevitably occur, our online sharing and connection spaces generally are serving us well. Keep learning from, helping, and encouraging each other!
- Refusal. Numerous educators still refuse to participate in our online, networked communities of practice, even as lurkers. The belief that one can be an adequate educator these days without tapping into the vast resources that are being shared by role-alike peers continues to confound me. A few magazine subscriptions that rarely get read, the occasional conference, and usually-useless professional development sessions are insufficient for the demands of our times. We must do better at getting our refusenik peers on board.
I continue to be grateful daily for this blog. It has opened up uncountable opportunities and I have learned incredible amounts from our dialogues and resource sharing. Thanks for all that you contribute to this online space. Thanks for being loyal readers. And loyal commenters. 😉
Final category! Below are all of the education blog categories for which I’ve solicited ‘the best of the best’ over the past few months. What’s left? And if you know of a blog for one of the previous categories that’s worth submitting, please submit to the list! (there’s a form at the end of this post)
What are some miscellaneous education blogs that P-12 educators and higher education faculty should be reading? Please contribute, see the responses, AND share this post with others so that we can get the best list possible.
What education blogs would you recommend? http://bit.ly/14ulBas Please share with others so we get a great list! #edchat #edtech
Thanks in advance for helping with this initiative. If we all contribute, we should have a bevy of excellent subject-specific blogs to which we all can point. Please spread the word about THE PUSH!
- Agricultural education
- Art education
- Athletics / extracurricular activities
- Business education
- Career and technical education
- Computer science / coding education
- Counselors / school counseling
- Drama / theater education
- Education policy / reform
- Educational technology / technology integration
- Elementary classrooms (students are blogging)
- Elementary teachers (teachers are blogging)
- English / language arts education
- English as a second language (ESL/ELL) education
- Family and consumer sciences education
- Gifted education
- Math education
- Media specialists / school librarians
- Miscellaneous / other
- Music education
- Physical / health education
- Preschool / early childhood education
- Preservice preparation
- Principals / schools
- Science education
- Secondary classrooms (students are blogging)
- Social studies education
- Special education
- Superintendents / central office / districts
- World languages education
What is THE PUSH?
We are working together to identify excellent subject-specific blogs that are useful to P-12 educators. Why? Several reasons…
- To identify blogs that P-12 educators can use to initially seed (or expand) their RSS readers (e.g., Feedly, Flipboard, Reeder, Pulse)
- To facilitate the creation of online, global (not just local) communities of practice by connecting role-alike peers
- To create a single location where P-12 educators can go to see excellent subject-oriented educational blogging
- To highlight excellent disciplinary blogging that deserves larger audiences
- To learn from disciplines other than our own and get ideas about our own teaching and/or blogging
We are looking for blogs with RSS feeds – particularly from P-12 educators – not sites to which we can’t subscribe. This is an effort to update the awesome but now heavily-spammed list we made 5 years ago!