Saturday, July 18, 2015

This is not my blog? ...I'm okay with that.

Hi, I’m Jen Roberts. Judy asked me to write a guest post on her blog and that’s why I am here. But where is here? Well, on the web, I guess, a space brought to us by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Sometime in the early nineties, while I was negotiating my first years as a college student, Berners-Lee was building the first web pages. Wikipedia explains it better, but basically he was the first to make the Hypertext Transfer Protocol work. You know how all our web addresses start with http? That’s him. This gives us the world wide web, the ability to get to websites, the means for adding links into text, creating hypertext, and of course millions of cat videos.
So why are we here? Now that we know, sort of, where here is. Berners-Lee had an idea about that too. He sees the web as a collaborative space, where everyone can share their information and ideas. We are here, basically, because we have something to say and the web gives us a free and public space to say it.
And so we blog because we can, because twenty five years ago if you had something to say you could write a letter to the editor, hold up a sign, print a pamphlet or even try to get a book published, but if you wanted to reach a global audience you had to do something outrageous enough to break into the mainstream media. We blog because we know that within a few hours a blog post can reach thousands of people, who may or may not agree with us, but who are likely at least interested enough to read our words. We blog because it gives us voice. We blog because we have something to share, rant about, or reflect on, or for educators it is often something to teach. 
I’ve looked through Judy’s blog, here at the beginning of her blogging journey she is writing about her plans, the things she wants to learn more about, the books she wants to read this summer. It is her way of publicly announcing her goals, perhaps in an effort to keep herself focused on what they are. I’ve been blogging for more than a few years now at about my classroom, the things I’ve learned, apps I like and how I used them in the classroom, reflections on educational models, books I’ve read, things I think work for my PLC and my students, and whatever seems important to me at the time. It is really wonderful when a teacher asks me about how I do something and I can not only answer the question, but link him or her to a post with more specifics. Like when someone asked me, “What is a Google Form good for in the classroom anyway?” It took me three posts to cover all the things I use them for. When I have a good idea and it works for my students I want to share it. The most popular post on my blog right now is How I use Socrative for Writing Instruction.
"A blog is not a puppy."
“I don’t have time to write a blog,” is a pretty common statement from folks when I mention blogging. It’s also a pretty lame excuse for not sharing what you know and learn as you move through the world. A blog is not a puppy. It won’t wake you up and demand you write every morning. I blog when I feel like it, when I have something to say, a question to answer, or hey, a guest post to write. And, look it worked, you’re reading this. Now what do you have to say?

Jen Roberts is the co-author of Power Up: Making the Shift to 1:1 Teaching and Learning with Diana Neebe. She blogs at and also at The short list of other things Jen does is not so short. Just go follow her on Twitter. You'll be glad you did.


  1. Jen,

    Thanks for your contributions to my blog. I am observing the clues on good blogging habits, like they are Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs. Here a some of the crumbs leading me on the right path. A good blog post has:
    *Voice: Yours shines through
    *Opinion or idea expressed and supported: You elaborate wonderfully
    *Image or meme to highlight a key point: You've got it!
    *Rich with valuable links so curious readers can easily follow the trail of your thoughts.

    I'm sure there are more lessons in the post that I can discover by rereading it again. Thanks for participating with me and being a great role model and mentor!


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  3. When I started my journey into EdTech in 2009, it was my dream to be in a 1:1 classroom. At that time, it seemed like a long shot. Now that I'm here, I'm overwhelmed! I look forward to connecting with you on Twitter and following your blog to learn tips and tricks as I navigate this new path. Thanks for sharing your expertise! And I enjoyed your take on blogging. :)

    1. I was able to take a class on blogging with Jen at the CUE 2015 Google training day. What is so great about Jen is that she has created a lot already...and models what to do in her various blogs. I am also reading her book, Plug in Power Up, which I highly recommend. I really appreciate her joining my little blog for a post!

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jen. And thanks for sharing Jen with us, Judy. "A blog is not a puppy" my new mantra. I think that it equally applies to social media as well. There is not as much of a time commitment as people assume. I think sometimes we use our busy-ness as an excuse to avoid things that are new or intimidating.

  5. LOL - A blog is not a puppy! LOVE IT!