We ALL Win When Educators Share Original Content!
The Flipped Learning Network encourages and welcomes guest posts from fellow educators. In addition to our syndicated content, the site contains a large body of original content that is vital to defining our unique role. We appreciate and seek out both types of posts and articles as we continue to work to expand on our online community and provide resources, tips, tools, and techniques to all educators interested in flipped learning and doing the best they can for their students.
Whether you are brand new to the concept or have been leveraging it for years, you have insights, questions, thoughts, and knowledge that others would love to hear about. We hope you will consider sharing them here.
To write an original post, all you need to do is create your content using any popular word processor and send it to us! We’ll work with you to prepare it for publication. Reach out through our Contact Form and we’ll follow up (be sure to check your SPAM folder if you don’t see a reply in a couple days, sometimes these replies can land there).
After looking over our “5 Reasons to …”, be sure to look over our tips for creating top notch blogs posts, which follow below.
7 Excellent Reasons to Write Original Content for the Flipped Learning Network!
1. For Your Own Professional Development
When you write an original article about your experiences as a teacher or other education professional, it gives you an opportunity to reflect and grow. Very often when writing original content you will learn from the process, coming to realizations you may not have reached before, seeing things from a different angle, or realizing that there is some follow up needed in certain areas to help make the most of what you’ve learned or achieved. You may also seek out resources to support a point, or for further exploration of a given topic. Of course, the very practice of writing content for publication is in and of itself good for our development as professionals. There are so many ways that writing original content can help us grow.
2. To Enhance Your Brand as an Educator
Whether you realize it or not, you are your own “brand” as a professional. How do you want people to perceive that brand? Do you want to be seen as someone who seeks to keep improving, regularly looking for ways to provide the best learning environment and experience you can for your students? Do you model continuous learning (as all educators should!)? Do you look for opportunities to connect with fellow educators, share your experiences, and learn from each other?
When you write about what you’ve tried and what you’ve learned, and share techniques and experiences that others can benefits from, you help to create and promote the brand that is you! And, of course, if you have a blog/website of your own and you are looking to promote it, you can include a link to it in your Author’s Bio. Explore this topic further: 8 Ways That Blogging Enhances the Brand of the Educator.
3. Sharing is Caring
If you teach younger students, you have probably echoed this phrase yourself from time to time, but it applies to people of all ages and all walks of life, doesn’t it? When you share your ideas, lessons learned, good practices, or things you’ve realized about what not to do, you provide others an opportunity to learn from your experience. Heck, there is no way I would be writing this (or you would be reading it) if educators like Aaron Sams and Jon Bergmann hadn’t written about their early experiences with the flipped classroom back in the 2000’s.
It is also important not to under estimate the level of interest in what you have to say and write about … there is an audience for it, other educators want to hear about your experiences and observations. Just imagine if all of the other people who have written and published content thought no one would want to read what they wrote? There would be no blogs, no Huffington Post, no learning at-our-fingertips from fellow professionals. That would be so sad. So go ahead … make your contribution and share it!
4. Your Don’t Have to Have Your Own Blog!
We love it when blogging educators syndicate their content to us (this is when they have a blog and write there, and we configure things to automatically share your selected content here on this site). But you have to have a blog to do this, and many busy teachers don’t. Well, you can still write content for us! Just write it up in any word processor and send it on over (reach out through this Contact Form first to let us know you have a piece to send). No other technology or tech skills required!
5. Building your Personal Learning Network
One of the most rewarding aspects of writing and sharing original content is the opportunity that it presents to connect with other professionals. By writing a blog post for the site and creating a brief Bio, you can provide other educators a chance to reach out and connect with you, and you become part of a larger online community, where you can connect with others. I see so many connections and friendships between the many teachers who have been active in the flipped learning community. Being able to reach out beyond your school’s walls, to the wide world of colleagues out here on the Web, can really open your eyes to new and different approaches, new ideas, and other ways of tackling a problem. It can be tremendously informative and rewarding! And when you start sharing your experiences, you become a resource to others.
6. It Benefits the Flipped Learning and Teaching Community
When you share your original writing with fellow educators here on the Flipped Learning Network, you are offering a new perspective to other teachers, technologists, librarians, administrators, and other educational professionals. When we learn from each other, the entire educational community benefits. Additionally, you also help support the mission of the Flipped Learning Network. Original content plays a vital role in how the site is seen by other professionals, and by search engines … which helps to ensure that others can find our resources!
7. It’s Ultimately all About the STUDENTS
This may be the last entry in our list, but it is undeniably the most important one. If you are a flipped learning practitioner, you started down this road because you realize how it can help position students to succeed. That’s why we’re all here.
Share your world, what you’ve learned, how it has benefited students, ideas that can help other teachers succeed, and it is very likely that you can extend the positive experience you have known to other teachers and impact students across the world. Seriously. This is how the Flipped Learning Network, and the thousands of other web sites and organizations across the world, came into existence … so that educators could learn from each other how to do their jobs better and produce better outcomes for their students.
Tips for Creating Top Notch Blog Posts
Here are a few helpful tips to consider while working on your blog post:
The Importance of a Good Title: It all starts here. Your title is often the first and possibly only thing a potential reader will see when they are searching for content on a given subject. The title needs to compel the reader to click and check out your post. We will be glad to work with you to help make the most of your article’s title, so don’t let that slow you down, but it is important to put some thought into.
Try to write in a blog-friendly style: There is a notable difference between traditional “academic writing” and the lighter, more conversational tone of a blog post. Try to avoid overly long paragraphs, for example.
Provide sub headings to break up longer content: This can be a great way to compel readers to keep reading, and to make a longer article more digestible. A good subheading at the top of a post can help to clarify what readers will learn by reading it, and will build on a good title. Within the body of the post, providing some subheadings can also help readers scan and gain interest, or narrow in on something that may be of particular interest. Subheadings also play a role in how search engines like Google decide whether to include your content in search results.
Provide an image to accompany the post, that you have permission to use: Having an eye-catching image that fits the tone and theme of your post is a big help, especially for promoting your piece via social media. There are numerous approaches to finding content that is permissioned for sharing, such as: Flickr’s Commons content, by using Google Advanced Image Search, or by using this technique. If you have trouble finding a good image that has permission for sharing, we’ll help to find one, so don’t let that stop you from writing your masterpiece!
About post length: There are no hard, fast rules here, but 600 to 1000 or more words is common. Of course, if you are sharing a quick resource and have a short post of a few hundred words, that’s fine too! We’ve written lots of short posts when sharing new posts adding to our growing body of YouTube content for flipped learning.
Thanks for thinking about writing a post … we’re excited about hearing from you! Keep an eye out for an upcoming article offering ideas for what you might want to write about.