Penny Bentley began blogging earlier this year. Like a duck taking to water, Penny has found blogging an excellent way of sharing, learning and reflecting. She explains the process:
Earlier this year I signed up for a 12 week, online professional development program. As a teacher of secondary maths and science I have an interest in finding new ways to engage and motivate students. Well, the VicPLN program was eye opening, challenging and arguably the best PD I have ever done.
I used to consider social media, like Facebook, to be a waste of time. Something my kids use instead of doing more important things, like homework. Well, things have changed. I am a blogger, I use twitter, Facebook and many other applications on the web. My blog, CLOUD9 started out as an online record of my journey through the VicPLN program. I blogged about my reading, new discoveries, frustrations and thoughts about classroom applications. I was able to display media such as images, slide shows, video and audio. CLOUD 9 started to feel like my personal place on the web.
One of the best features of blogging is the authentic audience. Every time I made a post there was feedback, support and encouragement. I started to develop confidence in my ability to use technology, to create amazing things and to put myself out there in cyberspace. By the end of the program I was hooked, I could see the enormous potential for student engagement.
So, my desire to blog didn’t end with the PD. For a while the web felt like a lonely place, I missed my daily feedback and interaction. There was a need to rethink the purpose of CLOUD9. It was important for me to enjoy blogging, to provide information that is educational and useful to teachers, to make smaller but more frequent posts and to have feedback. I decided to continue blogging about useful web tools, games, virtual excursions and any other application that may be useful in the classroom. CLOUD9 will provide bite sized professional development for teachers, with a taste of maths and science.
An unexpected outcome of blogging is that now I have a record of my 2010 professional development. I am beginning to view my blog as a digital portfolio of skills and achievements; it’s like an alternative to the dusty filing cabinet.
If you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog, Penny is an excellent example to follow. Well done Penny!
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Thanks to Penny for her blog. I love the title – ‘Cloud 9’, I also like the idea that a blog is a record of our professional development – so true!
Penny is also an enthusiastic commenter on other blogs and I think that relationship is so important.
Thank you so much Judith and Celia. What an honor it is to be featured on Bright Ideas, a blog that has informed and inspired me from the beginning.
This blog was made possible by my participation in the VicPLN Program. If you want to start blogging look around for some excellent professional development, such as the VicPLN Program, give it a go and join the conversation. It’s well worth it!
Penny – your outstanding efforts as shown on “Cloud 9” have been a source of inspiration to me many a time during our joint path of discovery. I look forward to many years of continued blogging, tweeting and whatever else awaits us in cyberspace!
Thanks Bev…let’s continue to grow our PLN. I can’t imagine life without it now.
Beautiful story of how blogging transforms us and allows us to record our thoughts, share with others, and connect us!
Much of my knowledge about blogging and using other web tools has come from your fantastic resources on the net.