To Blog or Not To Blog?

An Instructional Technologist will be dropping in on the blog every now and then to provide faculty with tips and tricks for using technology for teaching!

 Jeff Schwartz is our new Instructional Technologist for the College of Business Administration, and this week he wrote about how faculty members can benefit from using blogs outside of the classroom.

There’s an Instructional Technologist embedded in every college and school here at LMU, and they also work together to staff the Faculty Innovation Center on Level 3 of the William H. Hannon Library—they’re always happy to help you integrate technology into your teaching. And now, on with the blog! 

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To Blog or Not to Blog?
Last week, my colleague Nicholas Mattos, shared a few examples of how blogs are being incorporated into classroom instruction here at LMU. Many instructors are currently using the blog tools within MYLMU Connect to create course blogs, individual blogs, and group blogs as both graded assignments and opportunities for students to collaborate and reflect on their learning.

However, the use of blogs in higher education should not be limited to the classroom. In addition to the resources in MYLMU Connect (Blackboard), blogging tools like WordPress, Tumblr, Weebly, and Google Sites can extend the reach of your writings to audiences beyond the confines of our campus community. Increasingly, blogs are becoming important news resources, journaling tools, and community hubs for people with shared interests, as well as powerful promotional tools for professionals and organizations.

As a professional educator, a blog can be a great showcase for your various academic endeavors, a mechanism for establishing yourself publicly as a subject matter expert, and a marketing device aimed at sharing activities and programs developed by yourself, your college, or the university at large. Furthermore, since you are not limited to using text, you can readily incorporate graphics, links to articles, and video and audio clips, thereby creating a personalized “newspaper” of sorts where you serve as the author, editor, and publisher.
Not convinced? Here are seven excellent reasons that you may wish to consider starting your own blog (adapted from an article in the Huffington Post by Michael B. Fishbein):

  1. Attract an Audience

Blogging enables you to reach the billions of people that use the Internet.

  1. Establish Authority

Having a blog and writing about important topics that are relevant to your audience establishes yourself as an authority in the space.

  1. Build Rapport and Engagement

Blogging can provide your students, clients, or customers an additional opportunity to get acquainted with you, your perspectives, and your work.

  1. Create Opportunities

Blogging can lead to greater exposure in your field, generating opportunities such as speaking engagements or press.

  1. Organize Your Thoughts and Learn

Writing and articulating your thoughts is a great way to internalize something you’ve learned or experienced. Writing also helps you become more familiar with the topic you’re writing about.

  1. Tell Your Story

Blogging enables you to be your own media company. You can tell your story the way you want to tell it without being dependent on others.

  1. Meet New People

The audience you attract through blogging doesn’t have to be limited to the LMU community.

Good luck and happy blogging! Please feel free to reach out to your Instructional Technologist if you’d like additional support in launching your blog.

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