#234: Generations of Edubloggers
This is my third year blogging about teaching. A profoundly cool byproduct of edublogging is that on occasion you get to be the dealer who hooks someone up with her first hit of online expression. Someone reads something you wrote and her response is visceral enough to overcome her online inhibition and comment. And she lives for awhile in various comment boxes around the blogosphere until those confines cramp her too much and she gets a Blogger or WordPress blog of her own.
I haven’t given enough thought to this but, among the blogs I read and wander past, there seems to be a generational effect at work and it freaks me out. I’m not presuming an exact genetic link, where I gave “birth” to blogs that came after mine. I’m referring to timing.
Chris Lehmann’s Practical Theory, for instance, was the first edublog I read. His blog motivated me to turn a private blog public. Jackie Ballarini was one of my earliest commenters who eventually set out to do her own thing. A year after Jackie Ballarini you had Kate Nowak, one of Jackie’s readers, now submitting fine work at f(t). A year after Kate Nowak you have Elissa Miller writing up the new teacher experience at Miss Calculate.
No doubt, all of our decisions to hang out our own shingles were motivated by more than just one graybeard blogger. I have no idea, for instance, where Ian Garrovillas, Sam Shah, and Sean Sweeney fit into in this timeline nor do I have any idea if Twitter accelerates or decelerates this process. But the general effect is clear: people take their education into their own hands which provokes other people later on to do the same thing.
It’s a process that boggles me a little bit, that makes me want to break out into song a little bit, that I recommend wholeheartedly to new teachers who now have the luxury of selecting mentors from all around the world.
- Who were you reading before you started blogging? Where were you commenting? How did you get into this? I’m especially curious of people upstream like Chris Lehmann and Christian Long and that Dangerously Irrelevant guy, all of whom basically predate the Internet in my head.
- Does this place ever seem to you like Lost island? I swear, sometimes I click around and become aware of an entire other side to this place, blogs that link to none of the blogs I read and vice versa. Bud Hunt has written this one up but he doesn’t explain how any of us ended up on this side of the island or, more importantly, what the four-toed statute means!