I met with some colleagues the other day, to debrief our efforts to date in training teachers in the use of blogs, wikis, newsreader and eGroups in education. One of the points raised was that for teachers to appreciate the benefits of blogs more, they need to be able to see sites that are really useful to them.
Blogging is a fairly recent trend in Australian education, and the early adopters here are limited by a largely North American perspective when using blogs to source information. I while back I posted a request to my local network asking everyone who had a blog to list it in the comments of the post. This was because I was beginning to notice that my news reader was being dominated with North America perspectives and desperately needed local flow.
Now that I have more examples of local Australian eduBlogs, that assists quite a bit in helping new comers relate to the experiences, views and information being captured by those local bloggers. But its not enough. I have not found many local blogs with subject focus beyond the general eLearning streams such as this blog does. While these blogs are extremely valuable for keeping current and up to date with developments in technology as it affects education, they are still too general to be of imitate use to the time starved teacher.
We need eduBlogs with focus on subjects and issues relevant to us here in Australia. For example, I think it would be of great help to the uptake of eduBlogging and its acceptance in the upper ranks of management if we had at least the following:
1. A journal on the benefits of reflective teaching practice
2. News and information relating to teacher training in each state of Australia
3. Network teaching and learning ethics, code of conduct, guidelines etc for teachers, trainers, managers and policy makers
4. News and information from the State Departments
5. Case studies of best practice in the new pedagogies being implemented
6. Syllabus content blogs for each subject taught in our State schools and colleges
This list is by no means authoritive in what we actually need. Its just my thoughts to try and get a ball rolling on the issue. From my experiences trying to encourage teachers into networked learning, we need more examples of information streams with clear and obvious benefit to the average teacher.
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