Blogging Together With Medium
by Joey Feith
Blogging, if you’ve never tried it, is an incredible tool for professional reflection. Getting to write about the amazing things that take place in our gyms gives us an opportunity to look back and think about what went great and what could be improved.
Aside from our own personal gains from sharing our thoughts, getting to read other teacher’s posts is inspiring, informative, and, sometimes, straight up fun.
That being said, starting your own blog can be an intimidating undertaking. Which platform should you start with? What design should you use? How can you make sure other people read it (aside from your parents, siblings, and/or significant other that is)?
Medium is a blogging platform that launched in August 2012 and has been gaining some serious traction over the past few months. The site was founded by Ev Williams, who may know as the co-founder of Blogger and another little service called Twitter, who wanted to create a service that would allow Twitter users to create posts that went beyond 140 characters.
Discovering new Collections on Medium
The main difference between Medium and other blogging platforms is that Medium users don’t have separate blogs. Instead, everyone submits stories to Medium and then sorts those stories into “Collections”. Think of Medium as one big book with a lot of different chapters.
Medium has some pretty great built-in features that can help your posts be seen by a wider audience. For one, users can subscribe to different Collections. Doing so will prioritize content from that Collection on your Medium homepage.
Help your PLN discover great posts via Recommendations
Also, users can “Recommend” posts. When you recommend a post, your profile picture will appear beside that post to let your friends know that you think this is something they would enjoy reading.
Share quotes from Medium stories via Twitter or add a Note
Rather than a more traditional commenting system, Medium allows to to highlight a passage within a post and attach a note to it. The highlighted passage can also easily be shared via Twitter for your followers to see.
You can tell that a lot of thought was put into the reading experience on Medium: it’s clean, ad-free, full of beautiful images, and just plain fun to read on. However, as much as I love reading on Medium, the writing experience is, in my opinion, even nicer.
Distraction-free writing on Medium
By clicking “New Story”, you are brought to a simple, blank page. Not a ton of buttons, no distractions, just you and your words. Honestly, as funny as this may sound, writing on Medium is borderline therapeutic.
So why am I telling you about Medium today? Well, for the past couple of months, I have been putting together the “This Week in #PhysEd” newsletter. Editing the newsletter has made me realize that there are a LOT of great physical education blogs out there, but that a lot of them get lost in all the noise that is most of our Twitter timelines. Even I wind up missing out on a lot of these great blogs.
Another thing I have realized is that, for a lot of the aspiring physical education teacher bloggers I have spoken with, the idea of setting up their own blog is so daunting that they dare not even try. Even with such great tools like Weebly, WordPress, and Blogger… the idea of getting your own blog up and running can be very intimidating.
Medium can help more physical educators get started with blogging and help us all easily discover great content and ideas. Between it’s simplicity and built-in social features, I think it could be a great tool for us to collect ideas in one place.
That being said, I’ve created a Team #PhysEd collection on Medium for us to do just that. Here’s how you can get started:
1. Create a Medium account (you do this by connecting with your Twitter account)
2. Follow the Team #PhysEd Collection
3. Write a post (or upload a previous blog post… don’t forget to link back to your blog!)
4. Add your post to the Team #PhysEd Collection
Once your post has been submitted to the collection, it will be under review. Just a head’s up: I won’t be accepting any posts that try to sell anything. This collection is meant to be used as a common place to share and discover ideas/stories/resources that can help inspire your teaching.
I would really love to see the Team #PhysEd collection take off. Having been on Medium for the past few months, I can honestly say that it has a) provided me with a ton of great reading material on all kinds of subjects, and b) helped me discover interesting new people to follow and learn from.
Hopefully, having an abundance of physical education posts will improve the Medium experience even more and help spread the word about all of the great things members of the #physed community are achieving with their students!
Thank you for reading and happy teaching!
Joey Feith is a physical education teacher from Canada and the founder of ThePhysicalEducator.com. Be sure to never miss out on any of ThePhysicalEducator.com’s future posts by connecting with us via RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Email.
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