Since the creation of the printing press and moveable type, information media has been controlled by those with the money and resources to publish the information. News organizations are run as commercial enterprises, so their loyalties lie with advertisers, not with the readers. If you’re a consumer of information media and you have an opinion about a particular article or the world in general, your voice would be silenced by editors who are more concerned with printing stories that sell newspapers than printing public opinion.
But in today’s technology-laden world, the public has an opportunity to respond to news and world events through the use of the internet, but also create news themselves. This can be done easily and at no cost through the use of blogs. Blogs are like internet newspapers or journals that we can update any time and post our thoughts about the world. But blogs are so much more than just newspapers.
Blogs can be used to connect people in meaningful ways. A blog might be created by a single person, but anyone in the world has the power to respond to the ideas presented in the blogs. Of course the blog’s “editor” can restrict inappropriate comments, but the intense social interaction is a major component of the success blogs have enjoyed.
Blogs have brought democracy to information. Anyone can create them, no matter how rich or poor they are. Everyone’s voice has an opportunity to be heard, and unlike in real life, those who speak loudest aren’t always the ones heard the most. Blogs are all about community, and generating community credibility helps spread your message to everyone you’re connected to.
Imagine it: a world of people who create blogs and spread information for others to use for free, and those people receiving the information can respond by re-spreading that information to others, or to respond directly to the author.
Why is this a big deal, and why should you care about it? Because teachers around the world are blogging with greater frequency than ever before. Teachers are using blogs for more uses than ever envisioned for the technology. Not only are teachers connecting with other teachers, but they’re also connecting with students and the outside world. Teachers have a very powerful voice in the blogging world, and many of them have formed communities.
Teacher bloggers have also gained notoriety from within their own communities. Teacher bloggers like Wes Fryer and Dan Meyer have contributed their own thoughts to the education community and have come to be looked upon as experts in their field. They, along with other teacher bloggers are leading the way in new forms of communication and interaction.