Revisiting Your Blogroll

I actually blogged about this last summer after Building Learning Communities 2008 (BLC08). But it’s something that has resurfaced with me. I find myself reading a lot of new blogs (or at least new to me) lately and checking out many blogrolls. So the questions that come to mind are:

  1. Does the blogger really read all of these blogs?
  2. When is the last time they updated their blogroll?
  3. Why has this blogger included these particular blogs in his/her list?

Let me explain.

Does the blogger really read all of these blogs?
Some blogrolls are pretty extensive. I wonder if bloggers don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling by not including them. Possibly they are trying to fill up real estate on their page. Perhaps even they really subscribe to all those blogs in their reader. There are several bloggers out there that have different blogrolls. Scott McLeod has a list just for “Blogs That Deserve A Bigger Audience”. Liz Davis has a list just for “Technology Blogroll”. Some even have lists for their student blogs like Wesley Fryer.

When is the last time they updated their blogroll?blogroll
I am very curious when I look at someone’s blogroll who links to a particular blogger frequently and yet doesn’t list them. It makes me wonder if their “roll” is neglected. It is a separate section of a blog, so I understand that when one goes to post, you wouldn’t exactly think to update it. It’s time consuming to make sure that the title of the blog and the URL are entered correctly and that you have in the list those blogs you want. But your subscribers and visitors are counting on you.

Why has this blogger included these particular blogs in his/her list?
This takes me back to Educon 2.1 this past January. Liz Davis and I ran a session on Equity Issues in the Blogosphere. Some mistook our equity to mean gender equity, but if you look at the session recording, it was far from it. Bud Hunt made a great suggestion the evening before the session to change the title to “Equity in Your Blogosphere” – which made all the difference. Who do you read? Are you reading from all different points of view? Classroom teachers, administrators, people of color and different nationalities, both genders, math teachers, language teachers, high school teachers? I could go on with the list. Do you have a diverse blogroll? Are you getting more than just one point of view?

So, I have revisited my blogroll. I prefer to keep mine kind of on the short side. But these are blogs that I subscribe to. There are others that I read through Tweets and other recommendations. I’m sure I’ll revisit it again soon. Hopefully it won’t take me another year.

The Journey Continues…

I really liked the format that  Liz Davis suggested for our session at BLC08. It kept us on task for the short time we had and we were able to organize a large amount of information and still (hopefully) present it in a clear fashion. In the spirit of the positive responses Liz and I received two weeks ago, I have decided to repeat that format this Monday when the teachers (and their administrators) return for our roundtable discussion on what everyone enrolled in the Initiative has gained from immersing themselves in their newly formed professional learning networks.

The format is simple. We schedule the morning around three questions: What? So What? and Now What?

What?

  1. We’ll revisit our essential questions that we answered together and published as a Google doc.
  2. We’ll talk about the discussion of the merits of joining Twitter and Diigo as a way to establish your personal learning networks and maximize the benefits of social bookmarking.

So What?

  1. We’ll use Diigo Webslides to scroll through everything that has been bookmarked to the CMSCE-4-Learning group asking the person that bookmarked the site to give a quick description of it.
  2. We’ll talk about the discussions in the Forum and the participation and usefulness of the Forum as a place to communicate.
  3. So what did you learn? Everyone around the table has a chance to share their experiences. Those that did not join the group should speak specifically as to why and what would help/encourage/guide them to participate.

Now What?

  1. What do you want to do? What grade levels and subject areas to you want to begin working with?
  2. What is or is not appropriate in this new learning environment? Firewalls, Acceptable Use Policies and Internet filtering can sometimes keep us from accessing the tools and resources we need to accomplish our objectives.
  3. Questions and comments from all participants.