I wrote my first blog last August, but before that I had been a ‘lurker’. Through twitter I found blogs on my subject area and beyond, read them but never engaged. The more I read the more it became my own personal PD. I had been at my current school for a number of years and new ideas for my subject were drying up. The department either recycled the same ideas over and over again, or the new fresh blood that joined didn’t have anything to add. I felt my own knowledge had staled and that my performance had plateaued. I was worried that the department and those that I worked with would do the same.
Over 2 years ago I made blogs part of my departmental meetings. I would send a blog post with the agenda to read in advance. We discussed the post as part of our meeting and whether it would work within our context. Sometimes that would be the end of it. Other times it would lead to us tweaking our practice, overhauling our curriculum and building dialogue for months afterwards. I still continue to do this, and thankfully my department are openminded to keep engaging with them. Most teachers of PE come online for resources, but I want voices. I want to know and understand the why behind the how and the what and well written blogs have that voice. Blogs are an effective medium for sharing ideas and knowledge. When writing it gives you the time to form your thoughts and express them in a way that verbal conversations might not. As a writer or a reader you can go back and check whether you still agree or disagree. It is convenient as you can access it when and where you want it on your computer, tablet or phone. You can add pictures, diagrams, videos and audio to support your words. On the most they are succinct, quick to read but have a wealth of information. They can generate feedback, challenge your held beliefs and inspire new ideas. Well written blogs have a clear voice which allow you to understand the reasoning behind them. They make me want to search out more knowledge to ensure I have a deeper understanding of the topics being discussed.
However it can be difficult and time-consuming to find these blogs. If you blog about Physical Education or Youth Sport, or you want to read about PE and Youth Sport then please use #peblogs on twitter. With this hashtag we can build a real bank of knowledge, experience and wisdom that you may either want to contribute to or dip into when you want. It helps build an institutional memory and hopefully this leads to us developing a healthy cynicism when reflection on our own practice.
From next month onwards I will try to produce a ’round up’ of PE and Youth Sports blogs. Using the #peblogs with your posts on twitter will help me collate them and bring them together in an easy way for all to access. If you blog about PE and Youth Sports and you aren’t on the list below please let me know either on this post through the comments section, via twitter @ImSporticus or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
These are the blogs that I currently follow. Some are active, some are not. Some specialise in PE, some in sports. Some are by teachers, some aren’t. What all of them do is provide me with a great resource of ideas when and where I need them. Ideas that challenge me, ideas that help me position and justify my own thoughts and ideas that expand me beyond the small bubble of my own school. Hopefully this list will be useful to you in expanding your own bubble.