The Public Information Office is eager to help faculty members launch blogs as a way to help people off campus become aware of the quality of instruction available here at Shoreline. Below are some of the benefits of blogging for individuals, but there are also benefits for programs and disciplines:
A Container which Aggregates Stories, Insights and Accomplishments
A blog can provide people with evidence, via text, photo, video or PDF, that learning happens here. Images of field trips, video interviews of students or guest posts by select students and alumni can act as evidence that people taking classes here are learning, growing and succeeding. PIO can advertise for the college, but a rich blog will powerfully serve as evidence that Shoreline Community College is a great place to study.
Extension of the Classroom
Some programs have Facebook fan pages, and they act as extensions of the classroom as well as community builders. Learning, lecturing and intellectual exploration can occur in both places. The lecture doesn’t have to end at 1:25 p.m. It could extend into homework where the remainder of the lecture is a public blog post where class discussion could occur online. Such a format could enhance or extend learning & teaching, but also raise the profile of the instructor, the instructor’s discipline and the institution by making the academic discourse open and public for others to be impressed by.
A blog is free and open access to knowledge and experience. As a “college blog”, PIO would help administer and curate the blog, but postings could come from all members of your department. They could be long, short, in between and multi-media in nature. This will make for more interaction, more collaboration, more engagement, more profile raising and more evidence that great teaching and learning happens here, and that it happens in community.
On an individual level there more benefits, which are articulated in a post by Kathryn Smith on .eduguru. The following are her words:
“Helps You Share Your Ideas with Other Professionals:
While it is true that knowledge sharing happens inside your campus, blogging your ideas and experiences would help you reach the other professionals out there. This could benefit both you and your readers. If they find that your ideas are helpful, they will come for more. Also, they will share their ideas with you and implementing them in your teaching will give you creative ways to teach your students. Students are very clever, and they can easily learn from textbooks. Therefore, your job has become more demanding than what meets the eye. Blogging is a very helpful way to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge to handle your students’ need of know-how.
Improves Thought Process:
It is important to improve your thought process in order to get creative ideas to teach your students. If you are going to use the same method for the whole term, your classes will eventually become boring. Therefore, it is important to keep your thought process very active so that you come up with good ways to impart knowledge. For this to actually happen you need to do more than just think about it. You need to share what you already have with others and get ideas from them. This will greatly enhance your thought process and make your mind sharper and help you stay tuned to meet the increasing demand for creative teaching.
Increases Recruitment Opportunities:
Consider this scenario. You are a very active professor who does tons of research in the field in which you’re teaching. What if prospective employers who could give you good opportunities to help you grow professionally are not aware of the research work? Would you be able to utilize your potential and move forward in your career like you could have done if your skills were recognized? To some people this scenario isn’t that important. However, when you share your knowledge online, the chances to get recognized are higher. Also, you can reach the attention of some very reputed organizations, which will not only be ready to recruit you but also give you monetary and non-monetary rewards along with opportunities that might not have been available previously.
Helps to Grow Your Network:
It is not necessarily important to have lots of contacts. What matters is how helpful your contacts are. Only helpful contacts will help you out when you are in need of an idea or a creative way to make a presentation. Also, you can help other professionals with your ideas when they have a need. This way, your blog readers and you can benefit each other mutually. Plus, your blog can become a go-to place for many professionals who are passionate teachers who want to enjoy their career. You’ll never know the people that you will meet and connect with until you begin blogging.
Increases the Reputation of Your Employer:
All of you would want to be on the good books of your employer. If you are an active blogger who socially shares your knowledge and teaching techniques with fellow professionals outside your organization, your employer is surely going to trust you with more responsibilities. Also, this will increase the reputation of your employer which will make them want to keep you in their organization. This can lead to other perks and allow you to reach new heights in your field of study.”
If any of this sounds interesting to you, please contact the Public Information Office so we can help get you (and hopefully your colleagues) started!