My understanding of what a blog looks like and what I can expect to learn from a blog was outdated. I found five Blogs that were very interesting. The five blog sites that I found are Free Technology for Teachers, Math Made SimpleMath-Intervention-Snyder, STEM-Bainbridge and Tools for the Common Core Standards. To my surprise, two of the five Blog sites contained embedded video tutorial clips. All of the Blogs contained links to other sites. All five of the blogs I included contained current post and appeared to be updated periodically, some contained advertisements while others did not.  The Free Technology for Teachers blog I found to be a great resource.  The how-to videos are very informative. Free Technology for Teachers website and Tools for the Common Core Standards are great websites for educators. On the other hand,  Math-Intervention-Snyder, and the Math Made Simple websites are great for students, parents and educators. For a K-12 educator there is plenty of information that can be harvested from blogs for classroom use.

The narrow scope of many blogs is very useful. The titles alone speak to the focus of the blog. Unlike text books, blogs are updated frequently and are interactive. Newly launched sites can be included in the blogs links list as they are rolled out and discovered by the blog administrator or by someone posting to the blog. The content of blog websites provide teachers with various ways of presenting lessons.  Teachers are always challenged to teach the same topic in various ways and to not only rely on the way they were taught. Blogs supplement text books very well and expand the range of possible lessons presentation.

Following blogs related to curriculum development, project based learning, Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) and simulation software for K-12 education would improve my expertise as a teacher and curriculum developer. I would use these sites to learn how to create curriculum addressing the aforementioned topics. Because of standardized tests and too many students entering ninth grade with math and science skills are below grade level, these areas are very specific and difficult to incorporate into the curriculum. In addition, many teachers are not trained on how to deliver lessons related to these topics and strategies. Part of being an expert in your field is implementing the changes that are moving your field forward. The Common Core Standards changes the expectation of what the student must know and the outcomes the curriculum must deliver.  Tools for the Common Core Standards blog and other blogs that share the same focus are very useful sources for educators.

Blogs allow for the “instantaneous” sharing of knowledge. I can use the instantaneous and interactive nature of blogs with my students to improve how I assess there skills. Students are motivated by feedback. Immediate feedback to them based upon their post would be most beneficial. Furthermore, having students watch video tutorials and create video tutorials, that can be uploaded to a blog would be a nice show case. Math text editors, like Mathtype, need to be available with blogs.

Learning and increasing productivity are my two main concerns. How many web-pages of reading equal one text book?  How many, web-pages, videos and podcast equal one good text book?  The New Literacies and 21st Century Skills are not replacing the “old skills and literacies” they are add-ons to them. The requirement to sit still, think, focus, and reflect on an idea will never go away. Blogs must be recognized as another source of information and knowledge. Books, magazines, journals, newspapers and now we have blogs, all vehicles for delivering information and knowledge.