Blogging to support learning communities worldwide

Here at Triple A Learning we are always seeking new ways to put our mission statement into practice. As an organisation we are focused on the development of communities to support the delivery of the IB programme and its ethos and philosophy. Our blogs follow in the footsteps of our online workshops and materials by providing a voice for experienced IB practitioners who invite IB teachers to comment, contribute and collaborate by interacting with IB subject-related content.

Why blogs?

The early incarnation of blogs or ‘weblogs’, were websites or webpages that provided links and comments to other pages. The blog then evolved into online diaries, where individuals kept a running account of their personal lives. The shortened form, ‘blog’, was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog.  The term ‘blog’ is now used as both a noun and verb, with ‘to blog’ meaning to edit, maintain or add content to a blog.

In the last few years blogs have increasingly taken on new roles, including breaking and shaping news stories. Recently, we have seen the power of blogs, alongside other social media such as Twitter and YouTube, in the Middle East providing a real time commentary on unfolding events (liveblogging) and bringing these to a worldwide audience. At the start of this year, it was estimated there were over 156 million public blogs in existence with nearly a million blogs posts being made per day.

The division between blogs, micro-blogs, and social networks are beginning to disappear.  A quarter of all bloggers are already engaged in mobile blogging, with 40% of bloggers posting from their smartphone or tablet, so encouraging shorter and more spontaneous posts. Nearly half of all bloggers believe that more people will be getting their news and entertainment from blogs in the next five years than from the traditional media. A recent survey of consumers by Technorati found that trust in mainstream media is dropping as interest in blog sites soars.

While Triple A Learning blogs may not provide liveblogging, many of our posts offer commentaries on world events from a range of viewpoints, linking these to IB content through a clear tagging process. Their purpose is to offer support to IB teachers and students in classroom activity and to provide informed advice on the examination process. Our bloggers are all experienced teachers or lecturers, with many being senior examiners.

With 12,000 to 13,000 new visitors per month since the beginning of the year, our site is now in the top 20% of blogsites worldwide according to data from Technorati. There have been over two and a half million hits on our blogs in just under a year with one and a half million in the last four months alone. We already have over 20 diploma and 10 MYP subject blogs with more in the pipeline. However, we continue to look for new bloggers to contribute to existing blogs, or to set up additional IB subject or support blogs. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Paul Clark outlining the nature of your ideas.

So why not relax, have a drink and join us at the ‘blogface’.

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