The Blogs I Read Now

Tomorrow, I once again will be teaching the Northeastern course EDU-6323 – Technology as a Medium for Learning.  This course has gone through a number of changes since I first taught it in 2015.

At it’s core is the GRAD-602 course that Jeff Nugent and I taught back at VCU in the last decade.  I took the exploration aspect of 602, updated the technology, and added the learning science lens using Michelle Miller’s excellent book Minds Online.

As in GRAD-602, one of the first technologies we explore is blogging, which I have now been doing for over 13 years.  So I found it interesting to look back to 2008 and the third blog post I ever wrote – “Education Blogs” – posted on January 23rd.

In scanning the 17 blogs that I aggregated at that time through the now defunct Google Reader, what I find fascinating is that I no longer read any of these!  I still follow ten of the authors on Twitter, but I no longer follow their blogs (and many no longer write on blogs).

So does that suggest that blogs have outlived their usefulness?

Since I cover blogs in EDU-6323, I obviously still find them useful, if for no other reason than personal professional development.  And this August, I will also be teaching the doctoral course ILD-831 for Creighton University – Leadership and Technology – and my doctoral students will be blogging weekly as the primary means of reflecting in that course.

These days, I use Feedly to aggregate the blogs I read, in much the same way I used to use Google Reader.  In Feedly, I have separate feeds for:

  • Blogs
  • Business Leadership
  • Ed News
  • eLearning
  • Teaching
  • EdTech

The first category – Blogs – has posts that spark my thinking.  Lisa Lane, whom I have followed for a decade, provides thoughts on teaching and pedagogy that remain relevant as over the years she and I have moved through multiple LMS’s.  I read Seth Godin just because he writes short posts well.  Scott MeLeod’s blog Dangerously Irrelevant provides good suggestions for books to try…and sometimes new ways of thinking.  And Terry Elliot’s Impedagogy who like me is recently retired writes in ways that tend to shake the norm.

In the category of Business Leadership, I follow the blogs of Harold Jarche, the Lead Change group, Dan Rockwell, and Andrew Jacobs. Each author provides unique perspectives to the changing world of business leadership and informs my teaching in ILD831.

For Ed News, I follow Stephen Downes, Inside Higher Education, and EdSurge, which keep me up to date on an always evolving field.

For eLearning, I follow one news field and two pioneers – eLearning Industry, Tony Bates, and Bryan Alexander.  I find the combination of daily news, years of experience, and a look to the future captivating!

For teaching, I turn to Faculty Focus, TeachThought, and my friend Cool Cat Teacher – a.k.a. Vicki Davis!

And for EdTech, I follow Phil Hill, WCET, Wired magazineAudrey Watters, and the Ed Techie (or Martin Weller).

So, in 13 years, my readership in blogs has grown and grown nuanced.  Yet, I would say in the past few years, tweets and blogs have been the vehicles through which I have learned the most.

Though that is only half true.  I would also say that using blogs and tweets with my students is really where much of my learning has occurred.  Their willingness to share, to probe, and to push back helps me stay relevant in the white-water rapids of edtech change.

{Graphics: Watwood, Heidi Cohen, Dawn Butler}

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