“Toto, I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore!” (or, How to get started in the Edublogosphere…)

Wizard of Oz

I’ve been contacted by four different postgraduate researchers in the last two weeks. It’s getting to the stage where I’m considering setting up a new website/discussion space! A couple of them just wanted permission to use some of my stuff in their theses, one is already a member of the Edublogosphere, but one asked a very pertinent question:

My stumbling across some of your postings last night was my first trip in the edublogosphere. What else is going on out there?

As you can imagine, I hardly knew where to start! As I like to reply to emails ASAP, I replied thus:

  • Find some blogs to read. My Google Reader shared items might be a good place to start. Also try the big names in the edublogosphere – search for Stephen Downes, Will Richardson, Vicki Davis, Ewan McIntosh, and Dave Warlick. 🙂
  • Get yourself a Google account and use Google Reader to subscribe to the RSS feeds of blogs (don’t know how? click here)
  • Start using Twitter. At first you’ll think “What on earth…?”. After a while you’ll find it indispensible.
  • Start blogging yourself. Doesn’t matter what, but start making links with people. It’s the conversation that counts! Try edublogs to get you started. 😀

There’s a Hebrew proverb that I’m sure almost every educator will have heard before: “Do not confine your children to your learning, for they were born in a different time.” The same could be said of the Edublogosphere. I can hardly recommend that people start by using the same tools I did when things have moved on so much in the last 3-4 years! What would YOU recommend?

This Sunday, EdTechRoundup will be discussing just this issue – how to get started in the Edublogosphere – from 7.45pm onwards. Please do join us and give your input. The session will be recorded and go out as a podcast.

If you can’t make it, or just want to get the conversation going before then, please add your comment below! :-p

6 Comments

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  1. Hi Doug,

    Thanks for this – very useful. I’m just about to finish my PGCE year and whilst I’ve been blogging for a while, I’ve recently abandoned my previous blog and started an ‘edublog’. This is in the most party due to Julia Davies’ blog ‘Digital Literacies’ but also due to you.

    I am constantly frustrated by the attitude to technology shared by many staff at the schools I’ve been on placement on, and the filtering of the school network that prevents me accessing potentially useful educational resources. I started a blog to get involved in the debate about this, and about where English as a subject should go.

    Like your emailers, I wasn’t sure how to get involved but slowly I’m getting a network of blogs I read on a daily basis. Rather than using google reader, I have my iGoogle page set up to pick up the RSS of the most interesting, imho, edublogs out there. I’m slowly becoming brave enough to comment where I feel it’s appropriate, without sounding like I’m promoting my own blog.

    • Thanks for the comment! Good idea about starting off with iGoogle – hadn’t
      thought of that. :-) I certainly shared your frustrations when I was on
      teaching practice 4 years ago, which is why I set up
      http://www.mrbelshaw.co.ukthen. Well done for having started blogging – don’t
      worry about needing to
      explicitly promote your blog: the link to your website in the comments
      section does that for you!

  2. Hi Doug,Thanks for this – very useful. I'm just about to finish my PGCE year and whilst I've been blogging for a while, I've recently abandoned my previous blog and started an 'edublog'. This is in the most party due to Julia Davies' blog 'Digital Literacies' but also due to you.I am constantly frustrated by the attitude to technology shared by many staff at the schools I've been on placement on, and the filtering of the school network that prevents me accessing potentially useful educational resources. I started a blog to get involved in the debate about this, and about where English as a subject should go.Like your emailers, I wasn't sure how to get involved but slowly I'm getting a network of blogs I read on a daily basis. Rather than using google reader, I have my iGoogle page set up to pick up the RSS of the most interesting, imho, edublogs out there. I'm slowly becoming brave enough to comment where I feel it's appropriate, without sounding like I'm promoting my own blog.

  3. Thanks for the comment! Good idea about starting off with iGoogle – hadn'tthought of that. :-) I certainly shared your frustrations when I was onteaching practice 4 years ago, which is why I set up <a href="http://www.mrbelshaw.co.ukthen” target=”_blank”>www.mrbelshaw.co.ukthen. Well done for having started blogging – don'tworry about needing toexplicitly promote your blog: the link to your website in the commentssection does that for you!

  4. Doug, if you are setting up a new discussion space to facilitate conversations among postgrads, count me in. I’m only an occasional contributor, but a committed lurker, in the edublogosphere, and I’m looking for all the help I can get, particularly in relating the new web affordances to education theories.

  5. Doug, if you are setting up a new discussion space to facilitate conversations among postgrads, count me in. I'm only an occasional contributor, but a committed lurker, in the edublogosphere, and I'm looking for all the help I can get, particularly in relating the new web affordances to education theories.

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