All of us have blog ideas to share from our personal practice that would benefit others, yet choosing the relevant information to share can be as challenging as learning to fish. Fortunately, there are some guidelines to help writing edublog entries. Much like a fishing tackle box, certain elements combine to meet any contextual need.
Hook: What made this idea something you felt important enough to share? Did it meet a specific need or have an unexpected outcome? Often a quote from students or a surprising statistic will lure people to read on.
Bait: What choices did you make specific to your learning and teaching context? Beyond the basics such as your discipline area and or class size, sharing special challenges is essential to replicating your success. Much like a stream flows along with rapids, calm areas and eddies, I find that the same course material taught at different times of day or evening (or delivery methods) flows differently as well.
Line: How did your ideas become action? Tell your story connecting and adopting your ideas into the specific context of your classroom and your institution. Did you cast your idea out with instant success, or did your line get stuck in obstacles along the way? If your success was not instantaneous (as often it is not…) it helps others to know your lessons learned and any support needs before they try it.
Sinker: What anchors your ideas and keeps them from drifting downstream? Sharing related research, for those who want to know more, is helpful for others to sort out what practices are sustainable vs. those that are the flavor of the day. Student artifacts or assessment pieces assist others in deciding if your strategy is worth investing their valuable instructor and student time to implement.
Ready to bite? Click here for directions to share your ideas on our Teaching@NMC site.
More readings on writing effective blog posts and sharing best practices for teachers:
- Peer Networks and Sharing Best Practices: A “New” Old Idea.
- There’s No Practice Like Best Practice.
- The Secret Blog Post Formula.
Thanks, Steve Rice, for inspiring this metaphor with your pet bass story!