03 October 2009

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?

Like many internet users, I do most of my reading through an aggregator. It wasn't always this way. The motley crew of blogs on my sidebar represented part of my daily perambulations around the web. I still try to get out and visit sites every once in awhile. As nice as Google Reader is at collecting things for me to enjoy, I miss seeing the blogrolls and additional features that others have on their sites. I always have an eye out for a new read.

I recently made an effort to search for science education bloggers. You see, other than Science Teacher and Science for All, I really don't have anyone on my sidebar that represent science ed. I always enjoy Mrs. Bluebird, but her stories are more about kids and classroom than anything science. And as I searched through Twitter profiles and a recent collection of all things education blog, I noticed that there are three basic categories of extant science education blogs.
  • First, there is the "hobby blogger": someone who has a blog that is only updated every 4 - 6 weeks, at best. I removed these from my consideration because blogging (in my opinion) should be about sharing and conversation. Someone who only writes 8 - 12 times per year is not interested in using a blog to network or nurture relationships. Typically, these are teachers who just want to be able to say "I have a blog!" Sadly enough, this was the greatest percentage of science education blogs out there.
  • The second category represents teachers who use their blogs to communicate with students and parents. This is a great use for those stakeholders (and one I tried myself)...but it's not designed to be particularly reflective or used for connections outside that circle. I removed those from my search, too.
  • The final category is comprised of science teachers who only post about educational technology. These aren't bad blogs, either...but again, the conversation is not about science education. (For those of you who think this is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, you're right. I'm not entirely science oriented myself, anymore---but I do try to keep a toe in.)
After eliminating all of the blogs that fell into the above categories, there were a few left. I have to say that I wasn't all that impressed with either the writing and/or the format. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, people used to have some pride in their templates and ease of use for readers. What is up with bloggers filling up every square inch of the page---with the text such a hot mess that you can't tell where a post begins or ends?

Blogging, like any medium, is bound to change with time. I don't expect permanance, but I am hoping for continuity of ideas. I have to believe that there are science teachers out there who are interested in sharing their tales. If you have a recommendation for me, please do leave it in the comments.


Anonymous said...

Uh oh.

Now I have to wonder - which category might I fall into?

The Science Goddess said...

I think you're like Mrs. Bluebird---tales about kids, but not so much about the science itself. (It's just that two of you aren't enough for a formal category, LOL.)

This is not such a bad deal. One of the reasons I love so many of the elementary teacher blogs is because of the stories about kids and classrooms. It's a very real snapshot of what is happening.

Tyler said...

I hate to self-advertise but you might want to check out mine at trice25.edublogs.org and see what you think. I'd love some feedback if nothing else!

The Science Goddess said...

Looks like you're off to a very good start, Tyler. It may take awhile before you find your "blogging voice" and figure out what you'd like to do with your space. The first year or so can be good for establishing yourself. I will definitely keep an eye on you!

Kathryn J said...

It's hard to find a blogging voice or feel like you have anything to say of any value. I'm old at science but new at education. There are many people more qualified to speak about science and education let alone merging the two.

On looking through my reader, I have more general education blogs and math education blogs than science education blogs. Have you looked at Michael Doyle's blog: http://doyle-scienceteach.blogspot.com/

or Michele Franci's Blog http://cultureofchemistry.blogspot.com/

The Science Goddess said...

I have Doyle on my sidebar (Science Teacher).

I had seen Franci's blog, but since I was on the hunt for k-12 educators, I left it out of my original sweep.

Perhaps the primary purposes of blogging are changing as "old" bloggers retire (or start new ventures) and new writers come on the scene. I'd like to think that everyone has something to contribute to the conversation.

Kathryn J said...

Ah apologies, I reread and see that you even listed him in the post. I subbed today for 7th grade and am perhaps a bit too tired for reading and commenting in the blogoshere.

I do read your blog regularly, I just don't comment much. Your recent post about simulations inspired a blog post for me but it's still in draft status.

The Science Goddess said...

Anyone who has subbed for 7th grade definitely deserves to put her feet up, enjoy a glass of wine, and comment to her heart's content.

So glad you stopped by to comment. You're the second "lurker" this week. Does my tired old blogging heart good to hear from you. Hope you'll leave a link to your post when you're ready to publish!