I want to welcome you to the world of educational blogging. You are about to enter a journey that will take your learning to new heights. I am so impressed with your professor’s blog, Bridging Literacies. The objectives she has listed on her welcome post are excellent. I have to admit though that this one filled me with delight:

To model to our students meaningful, respectful, and thought-provoking collaborative learning with modern technology tools;

Now I know that you are on the path to becoming a teacher and may not have given a lot of thought to the importance of modeling for your students but you have a wonderful opportunity here to create a vibrant example of learning for your future students and your future colleagues. You can create a community of learning unlike any you have had before. It is in your hands. I know you will rise to the occasion! It is an opportunity that not many students at the university level get.

I can’t wait to show your blogs to my elementary students. They will be most anxious to comment on your blogs. They are always most interested in what “teachers” and “teachers-to-be” are learning and thinking. I can’t tell you what it means to them to see their learning talked about in respectful and insightful ways by other students who could even one day be their own teacher!

Course educational blogs have distinct purposes. Educational blogging is positive, transformational technology that should not be confused with social sites like Myspace. They serve different purposes. The best educational blogs are rich in ideas and set the stage for active exchanges and critiques.

Your professor has put a great deal of thought into the development of the criteria for your assignment with blogs. This is so commendable and exciting to me. You will be using the power of technology to enable deeper learning. Educational blogs should set an example of learning for others to follow. Your professor is entering new territory herself with her willingness to explore the pedagogical promise in blogging. Join her in making the journey one to celebrate!

You will be writing your thoughts about what you are learning. You will be contributing your ideas. You may provide links that add to the conversations. In turn, your colleagues will be doing the same. You get to reflect about your own thoughts as you pass them through the light of your class members’ postings. Then all of this is open to a much larger community and other readers will join the conversations. Making your thoughts explicit moves the discussion beyond the literal. Blogging leaves a record of the conversations and learners can return to posts to reconsider and improve their own understandings. Blogging can be a powerful tool for discovering and developing meaning. Enjoy the journey!