Reflections for New Bloggers #edchat #PLN

A few weeks ago, I received this email and it was great to read. I thought I'd share it with you, along with my response, and invite those of you who are veteran educators at using social media to build your PLN to share your insights:

Let me start by saying that after last weeks training and the past 2 days of ipadpalooza, I had a very sleepless night. My brain is so full, I just couldn't shut it off; I kept thinking about all the things I want to implement and how it's going to change the dynamics of my classroom. I'm stepping out of my box completely, but totally psyched about it! In my sleepless state, with all this information whirling in my brain, I got this idea that the teachers on my campus need to be exposed to some of the awesome sites and ideas I've seen. So I emailed my principal and she has agreed to let me have half a day to share some of the things to our teachers during inservice in August.   : ) 
One thing I want to do is start a blog about the process. I think any big transformation needs to be recorded, don't you? I know you're a big blogger, and was wondering if there are any sites you could recommend to help me get started? I'd really appreciate it.
Here's my response:

Howdy! I'm thrilled to read about your sleepless night! For me, it was a panic attack on the way into work. I realized I had to keep track of what I was learning, log all my conversations with others through podcasts and vidcasts, and it was heady stuff. A blog is mainly a notebook to track what you're learning and it's impact on your thought processes and actions. 

Some tips:
  • Write for yourself rather than some unknown audience. 
  • Focus on what you're learning. If you're learning, share that. If you're not learning, share that, too. 
  • If you share only one thing a day, reflecting on its impact on your thinking/practice, then you will be considered a prolific blogger.
  • Avoid the temptation to share just for the sake of sharing.
  • Write authentically, a learner sharing his/her journey...record big and small transformations but that's your choice. It will probably take about 100 blog entries to get in the spirit. Be sure to use and/or to auto-tweet/Facebook your blog entries to the world so you can increase your readership. 
  • Reflect on other's blog entries to build conversational relationships with other edubloggers. This pays off as they link back to you and your reflections reach a broader audience.
To start a blog, you can go to a web site like or I do not recommend Tumblr, although some do. I recommend you use a personal email account since your learning is your wouldn't want to lose access to it if you left your District. 

In fact, be aware that those who start blogging and learning usually end up moving up and out of whatever system they are in. As a long-term blogger, I've seen it many times. If you hang on to the journey, you will find your learning, reflections have transformed you.

Some of my reflections:

Check out Miguel's Workshop Materials online at

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


--David said…
Very good advice! Especially the first item: Blog for yourself. Too many times, I have tried to blog because I had a post I wanted other people to read. They rarely read those. The ones where I just record my thoughts, however, are some of the most-read posts I have. Of course, I have to remind myself from time-to-time that I am writing for me. This is about my journey through life and career. Nice piece!

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