In instructional design, where effective communication and continuous learning are paramount, the act of blogging goes way above a personal pastime to become a powerful professional tool.
So, why is it important for instructional designers to blog?
If you’re going to make a mark for yourself in this industry, don’t be shy. It’s crucial that your thoughts and personal discourse are out there for others to appreciate. Although I would recommend that you try and avoid the more random of thoughts. No one is particularly interested in what you had for dinner last night, unless it’s related to your instructional design journey in some way, of course.
(And you’ll need somewhere to put your blog so this may also be of interest – Why every instructional designer needs a website.)
Instructional designers who embrace the art of blogging unlock a host of benefits that extend beyond self-expression. Here are a few reasons why I think blogging is not just an option, but a strategic imperative for those shaping the future of education.
It’s All About Thought Leadership in Action
Blogging is a dynamic platform for us to establish ourselves as thought leaders in the field. By consistently sharing insights, reflections, and innovative ideas, we can position ourselves at the forefront of educational discourse. Whether discussing the integration of emerging technologies, reflecting on the nuances of effective instructional design models, or sharing success stories from our own experiences (even disaster stories are good, particularly if you’ve learnt from them). And instructional designers can leverage blogging to contribute meaningfully to the broader conversation in education.
Blogging transforms us from mere practitioners to active contributors, fostering a community of like-minded professionals eager to engage with and learn from our own perspectives. And it doesn’t only help you by enhancing your personal branding, but also helps others within the instructional design community improve their knowledge.
Reflection and Professional Growth
It sounds a little new age, but the actual act of articulating thoughts and experiences in a blog post means you need to have a deep level of reflection. When you write about your projects, challenges and successes, you must think about why decisions were made, and whether they were the right ones.
This reflective practice goes beyond the routine tasks of your day-to-day job and encourages you to critically evaluate your methodologies, consider alternative approaches, and contemplate the broader implications of your work.
In that way, blogging becomes a vehicle for continuous professional development, allowing us to learn by teaching. I know that’s what we do as a job, but it’s slightly different as we’re teaching other people how we worked through our creations. The process of translating complex concepts into accessible blog posts not only enhances our understanding but also reinforces a commitment to staying abreast of industry trends and best practices. Which is never a bad thing. If we’re continually reflecting and refining, it means we can evolve, ensuring our work remains innovative and impactful.
Blogging can also be useful to enable community building in the digital realm. Instructional designers who share their experiences and insights through blog posts create a virtual space for dialogue, collaboration, and shared learning. This community extends beyond fellow professionals to include anybody who is generally interested in what you have to say. It could include educators, learners, and stakeholders or anyone interested in the nuances of instructional design.
Engaging with a blog’s audience through comments, social media, or even collaborative projects gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. Working remotely as an instructional designer can sometimes be a little lonely or at the very least, solitary. So it can be interesting to hear other views and be part of a global conversation. And that helps us also gain valuable perspectives, insights, and feedback that can enrich our own practices.
Show the World What You’ve Got!
Having a portfolio on your website is important, but a blog can also function as a showcase of your expertise. As an instructional designer, you can use your blog to feature case studies, project highlights, and in-depth explorations of your design philosophies and theories. It’s a more in-depth explanation that your portfolio just doesn’t have the space for.
And it can provide potential clients or employers with a more comprehensive view of your capabilities and your commitment to ongoing professional development.
The longer you blog, the more you can document your growth, share success stories, and articulate the impact of your work in real-world scenarios. This enhances your credibility and also positions you as an expert in the eyes of your audience.
Conclusion: Go for it (what do you have to lose?)
Blogging is not merely a writing exercise; it’s a showcase for educational innovation and professional growth. It can make you think more deeply about what you really believe, empowering you to shape your personal narrative.
Go share your knowledge with the world and let me know how you get on.