We all know that the Internet and associated technologies provide excellent opportunities for both acquiring and sharing knowledge. Students have access to all kinds of online courses and programs – but what should be the course of action for a teacher willing to share his or her expertise?
Blogging is incredibly versatile in application. You may simply write day-to-day posts sharing your ideas about education, describing specific examples of how you apply certain techniques in your job and so on. Or you may do something more creative – for example, center it around a day-to-day chronicle of everything you do in your classroom. The best thing about blogging is that you literally have a worldwide audience. Your students will see themselves as writers because people can, and do, read and comment on their work. Just make sure your texts are original – you may want to use a plagiarism checker to be on the safe side
Vlog as a blog almost completely constituted of video follows the principle “Show, don’t tell”, which is especially important in case of teaching, because it allows the viewers not only to learn about something, but also experience it, albeit vicariously. It can be a demonstration of a technique you use in class, a simple illustration of a typical day at school, or an all-round video blog dedicated to one’s experiences and challenges as a teacher.
If you are not very comfortable about appearing in video, a podcast may be a solution – and it provides some additional opportunities when compared to blogs and vlogs. You see, blogs and vlogs require active attention: to read or to view them, and therefore posts tend to be rather short (because it has to be a truly gripping post to spend an hour on it). Podcasts, however, may be as long as you want them to be, because people usually listen to them while they are doing something else. What to talk about is limited only by your imagination.
You can hardly expect to have an audience when you are just starting out, so why not borrow someone else’s? Many websites, such as this one, like, accept, and welcome guest posts by teachers who have something to share. It will help you kill two birds with one stone: bring across your message and increase your own reader- or viewership.
By creating a group in Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn, you will get in touch both with your students and with other specialists in the industry. The choice of the network should depend on whether you concentrate your efforts on other teachers or students.
You may broaden the scope of your appeal and teach students outside your current class – for example, by describing typical mistakes they usually make, explaining particularly difficult topics you know are often overlooked by schools, or targeting certain groups of students you know often have trouble learning (e.g., with specific disabilities).
Or you may teach the teachers – by sharing methods, techniques, insights into the learning process and so on. It is up to you to decide which lies closer to your heart.
Using tech in your educational side of life is no longer an exception – perhaps not a rule yet, but certainly a tendency. Joining in will not only allow you to share your views and experience, but learn a great deal as well – educators using tech constitute a very dynamic community that is always eager to support and help new members.
Author. Beta tester. Music lover. Huge geek, love zombies, video games, doctor who, sci-fi, horror, steampunk, and fantasy. I have 3 kids (4 counting the husband) and 3 cats. Michelle is also one of the owners of this site.