Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Power of Blogging - It's Much More Than the New Persuasive Essay

As we head further into the 21st Century, blogging is becoming the "norm" for educators as well as their students.  Blogging is known to many as the "new persuasive essay."  You can read more about this at
http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/07/blogging-is-the-new-persuasive-essay/.  As stated in the article written by Shelley Wright, "Blogging has the potential to reach and influence many.  Furthermore, it has greater potential for being a life-long skill.  And isn't that our goal in education?  People from all walks and professions blog for the purpose of teaching, creating, and informing.....If we’re trying to prepare our students to think critically and argue well, they need to be able to blog. It allows for interaction. It allows for ideas to be tested. And the best posts anywhere in cyberspace tend to have a point that can be argued."  For me personally, blogging has been so much more.  

Several years ago, I never would have considered myself a blogger or writer for that matter.  I had no interest.  In fact, being able to sit and express my thoughts on various subjects to others was something I would dread.  I am a social person, don't get me wrong, I just had no desire to do it.  This all changed a year ago.

In November 2011, I participated in an i-Pad Campaign, a contest sponsored by A4CWSN (Apps 4 Children With Special Needs) and The Mobile Education Store, a developer of Speech Therapy Apps and Language Apps for the iPhone and iPad.  The purpose of this campaign was to bring awareness of the high-quality apps that are developed by The Mobile Education Store to help children with speech and language delays, particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Although I did not win the iPad, I did win second place and received an Apple gift card.  What was more important was that I was able to connect with other educators using Education Technology to help children with special needs.  I was asked by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Center for Technology in Education (CTE) to write a blog focusing on technology for children with special needs for the Maryland Learning Links, which is the Special Education website for the Maryland State Department of Education.  The CTE had  previously viewed my previous posts on Facebook and other websites and was impressed with them.  You can visit the blog at www.marylandlearninglinks.org/6325.  In each blog, I review apps that I have found to be helpful for my son who has high-functioning ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified).  I only blog about apps that I have tested myself, with my son and/or my students.  So far, I have had a great learning experience.  Through my blog, I have connected with so many other parents, educators, and last but not least, App Developers.  I am so appreciative for the many connections that I have made with others through my blog.

A couple of months ago, I created my personal blog entitled, "Climbing the Ladder of Educational Technology," through which I write about anything that is related to my experiences related to integration of educational technology, www.edtechmorah.blogspot.com.  Since this is my personal blog,  I am much more at liberty to post what I want.  I have also started making connections to others through my blog.  I look at my experiences with blogging as a learning opportunity;  a chance to grow and collaborate with others, not just to persuade others of my thoughts. As educators, we are going to make changes in education by working together towards common goals.  We can get so much further through collaboration - especially when learning has no boundaries.  I look forward to continued collaboration with others through blogging and definitely welcome others' comments on my blog posts.

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