Get Your Bounce On!

“…we should use our blogging to make and to build connections.”

Looking for resources about blogging? Read this summer writing series with tips from CTQ bloggers, and join the Collaboratory and Communications Lab today!

In a great article called, “The Science of Teamwork,”  Viviane Callier describes a biological study that analyzed how different basketball teams move the ball down the court as examples of networking. The lead scientist on the team, Jennifer Fewell, noted one team that used a pattern of each player passing the ball to at least two other players. The scientists argue that such a team is “more flexible and less predictable. A team with a distributed network has many options for changing their strategy to score points….and were more likely to win.”

Many teachers first adopt blogging as a learning strategy that encourages student writers to be more fluent and expressive. Along the way, more and more educators have found blogging is a rich experience not only for students, but also for us. I believe we should use our blogging to make and to build professional connections.


Just like our brains add new knowledge by connecting it to what we already know, we can help one another, and the professions in general, grow by linking our collective thinking on various topics. This is what professionals do when we engage in a public discussion of issues pertaining to our respective fields. In formal academic writing, that’s called doing a review of literature; then presenting an academic argument. One reads what others have said; then responds by challenging or expanding on those ideas. The cycle or spiral repeats, moving the field forward and upward.

Sadly, the field of education is notorious for not building on our past—research or practice. We seem to roll in stationary cycles of adopting, dropping, forgetting, and rediscovering principles and approaches.

We can help advance our profession, as well as our own development, by encouraging the exchange of ideas. I’m a big fan and user of Twitter, and it’s a great way to make connections with lots of people quickly. However, its one major drawback is that 140-character limit. We need longer, deeper, more thoughtful discussions on most of the issues facing us in education. Even the most frenetic Twitter exchange can’t by itself accomplish that level of development.

Also, blogs have a longer “shelf-life” than a Twitter feed. I can go back to a blog in the archives from years ago and rejoin a conversation about which I now have new information or insight. I don’t consider any of the blog comment sections on my former posts closed.

Many of my own blog posts begin as a response or reaction to what I’ve read in other blogs or education articles. When that happens, I’ll usually link to that piece near the beginning of my response blog. It is rare that I write a blog on any topic and don’t do some kind of search to see what others have said on the topic, especially among the folks in my blog reader.  When I find something that is pertinent or expands on what I intend to cover, I link it into the body of my blog. I’ll do the same thing when I’m commenting on someone else’s blog (a practice I heartily encourage).  If I know of or find related pieces, I’ll share those links. It adds credibility, depth, and breadth to what might otherwise just be a shallow discussion or rant.

These may seem like small or time-consuming acts. But making connections with other edubloggers and writers is worth the time. If more of us shared in this way, it would go a long way to helping us continue to break down the long-standing culture of isolationism among educators at all levels.

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  • ReginaMcCurdy

    Beginning Blogger

    Great thoughts, Renee. Thank you. I’ve always enjoyed writing. In my teenage years, it was a way to express my views and ideas in a way that was therapeutic. Now, it actually is a way that I learn, connect with new ideas, and hopefully encourage and inspire others. I recently started blogging, mostly about teaching and instructional coaching. I know that I learn from others’ words and find that this type of communication helps us as teachers and educators to get off of the spinning wheel, staying in the “stationary cycles” as you called it. If we expect our students to step  out and be challenged, we should be too. Thanks for the affirmation and confirmation! 



  • ReneeMoore

    You’re Welcome!

    Thanks for your comment, and for including the link to your wonderful blog (really liked the O, Canada post!).. Hope to read more of your work!

  • misstori


    Renee, I like when people share links to other’s ideas/blogs/etc.  It’s usually how my time is eaten up when I’m online.  I can get lost in the maze, but in a good way. It also introduces me to people that might be missed on my radar.  Besides, no one wants to blog in a vacuum.  If they did, it would just be called thinking. 

    Regina, I am interested to find out how your year goes.  I am stepping into a similar role for the first time, so I will consider you a virtual sister-coach.  

    • ReginaMcCurdy

      A Coaching Buddy


      Yes! We will definitely have to keep in touch and build each other up in this new journey! And yes, as you said, “no one wants to blog in a vacuum. If they did, it would just be called thinking.” Glad to share my musings with you! 


      Regina 🙂