Serif in Education

Education bloggers – why do we do it?

Why do I write this weekly blog? For a few reasons that I will list for you below:

1. To share any news I might have about Serif products or the company as a whole, that I think you might like to know about.

2. To discuss the challenges that are facing educators, and offer my help, guidance and support.

3. To highlight inspiring stories or ideas for lesson plans.

Each week I check to see how many of you might have read my last post (every reader I am grateful for, so if you are here, thank you!) and then I jot down some ideas for my next. Over the course of my career, I’ve learnt that blogging is a fantastic way to have a real conversation with people. Because the process of writing includes recording thoughts on paper, the blogging process encourages you to stop and think deeper. The best thing is that it also involves creativity (and you know how we love creativity). It involves creative writing (you need to keep readers interested!) and also creativity in coming up with topics you think your readers will want to hear about. It’s simply not possible to write about every event happening here at Serif, but instead, blogging is a never-ending process of choosing to articulate the most meaningful events and the most important thoughts.

A big part of blog writing has always been reading and sharing other blogs. Whether that’s written by a teacher, a school, another company, or an individual, I find lots of inspiration in reading other people’s daily, weekly or random muses.

It is actually quite a funny concept if you think about it – that you can ‘self-publish’ through posting a blog online that others can find, read, share and comment on. But to me, this makes the process of blogging, in a sense, a wonderful act of giving – many blogs are free and open to the public, and authors invest their time and energy into creating a piece of writing that anyone can read. As a lover of new, creative ideas, I’m especially grateful for that!

What I perhaps love most is reading about tips or recommendations. We know that teachers in particular are great sharers of information. We all love to recommend something we have found enjoyable or beneficial, whether it be a great idea, a good resource or a new outlook on life. The fullness of joy is not experienced until we have shared that joy with others. A blog provides an opportunity to share your experiences with others and encourage them to benefit from the good things we have discovered.

Blogging has become so popular, that it’s easy to forget just how recent it is. The term ‘Live Blogging’, a blog providing commentary on an event while it is taking place (especially in the form of frequent short updates), joined the dictionary in 2013 – ten years after the term ‘blog’ first appeared in the March edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Nowadays, there are hundreds of education bloggers out there. Although I feel that blogs are like books – there are no ‘best’ or ‘worst’ blogs, but readership is determined by personal preference – Cision, a global communications software and services company, published a list of ‘Top 10 UK education blogs’ early in 2014 which can be found here: http://www.cision.com/uk/social-media-index/top-10-uk-education-blogs/.

I’d like to share with you one of Serif’s favourite blogs, ‘The Whiteboard Blog’, written by Danny Nicholson http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk/. Danny is an author, Science teacher, ICT Consultant, PGCE lecturer and Computing / Interactive Whiteboard Trainer. He has delivered training courses across the UK, in Europe, and in Canada, and we’re proud to say that he’s been a Serif supporter for many years.

Danny blogs on a whole variety of topics – he reviews new technology, he attends exhibitions and provides his ‘top’ list of cool stuff, he provides tips on how to get the most out of things like Smartboards, and lots more. For educators, there is a whole host of useful free stuff on his website. He publishes all his photos, all his resources… basically, everything Danny has every found useful, he wants to share it all with us.

We think Danny’s blog (along with mine, I hope!) is a great example of why blogging is such a great idea. Although some say the blog is in decline due to the short and sharp updates people can share on sites like Twitter, we hope that it is here to stay.

Education blog writers – please – we’d love to share your blogs here! Just drop me a line at edusales@serif.co.uk.