The educator blog list began with a Meme in January of 2014. As the concept took off, I identified who in New Zealand was blogging as an educational practitioner. I had been observing class blogs for a couple of years and identified the odd educator blogging, but the Meme task really helped as edubloggers in New Zealand tagged their educator friends.
One key element was who was being tagged. From there, Helen Prescott set up a doc to eliminate the same educators being spammed and directed traffic to the doc to check out first who has been tagged. We hoped that this would eliminate double ups. From that doc I set up an educator’s spreadsheet list of edubloggers in March 2014.
Then I added all educators I knew who had taken part in a TeachMeetNZ and had reflected on the process. I also identified educators who were commenting on fellow educator blogs. As the list grew, I pulled out principals to see who was blogging and was surprised at the low number. So I gave my own principal the blogging challenge and reminded her about asking our teachers to reflect but where was her reflection. She took on the challenge and with her on board, this made the task easier of encouraging our teachers to reflect on their practice via blogs.
After that the list kind of grew on its own as educators added other educators.
Later on in the year, I was tagged on twitter with Nathaniel @nlouwrens who was aiming to build a list and a fellow tweep knew that there was already a list. That is how the #EdblogNZ hashtag was born. Nathaniel was encouraging educators to use the hashtag so that he could identify who was blogging.
The next stage of the curation happened by chance conversation with Nathaniel for the VLN #eelwebinar. I showed Nathaniel our school staff site and how this has accelerated staff learning just by making what they do visible using RSS feeds. I had ninjaed the staff blog idea from St Andrew’s college staff blog site via my connection with Matt @mattynicoll. The staff rss feed I had seen on @ principal’s blog.
I showed Nathaniel what I was doing and he was totally enthusiastic and supportive. He agreed to come on board in this space to help with monitoring. He shared what he was doing with encouraging educators to blog and told me he was working with Alex @ariaporo22 at Ulearn. We all know what a beast sites and blogs can be once created. So by using RSS feeds, we want the space to run itself. That is what this curated site will do.
Where to next, the curated site is live at www.edblognz.blogspot.co.nz and it will be driven by the hashtag. As educators fall off the blogging space they will be replaced by regular bloggers. That is what we three will do. We will monitor who blogs and who falls off. The RSS feed highlights the latest blog by date. The twitter feed alerts us to who is using the hashtag. So if you want your blog featured do remember to use the #edblognz hashtag and do remember to reflect actively and visibly.
The edblognz site has been live for a few hours and already we have had some great discussion on twitter. It is also fabulous to see how others are taking up the challenge to update their posts. I think we need a blog badge and some blogging challenges. Already I can see that the educator list has bloomed and needs a trim. But for now I need to concentrate on my VLN presentation for Wednesday. If you are around, do join the session hosted by Nathaniel. Danielle is also presenting and we are discussion Personalising PLD using social networks.