Category Archives: Information

Why begin blogging in your class?

This Thursday, I will be running a Brekkie with a techie session at Launceston College. I have been asked to do this by Kent Poulton, my previous boss. It is to be a basic introduction to blogging with mainly primary school teachers. It is being held from 7.30am-8.30am before school starts. I have also invited Linda Bonde from Riverside Primary to come and talk about her blog.

What do I think is important to know before starting to blog with your class?

  1. What is a blog?
  2. How do other teachers use their class blog?
  3. How can you introduce it to your class?
  4. How does it work within the curriculum?

What is a blog?

How do other teachers use their class blog?

  • Share information and class news with parents, family and caregivers.
  • Provide students with a way to access assignments, homework, resources and information about their class online.
  • For global collaboration and authentic audience.
  • To inspire and motivate students.

Check out these blogs from Tasmanian schools:

Blogs from overseas (teachers blogging for a long time)

 

Made with Padlet

How can you introduce blogging to your class?

Show them the video above and use the student activity sheet linked here.

Create a display board related to blogging.

Do paper blogging with your students, put results on the display board for classroom visitors and other teachers, parents to see.

How does blogging work within the curriculum?

I have started creating posts relating blogging to the Australian curriculum but here is a quick list of possible ways:

  • value of strong passwords
  • privacy settings
  • multimodal reading and writing
  • digital safety
  • being a good digital citizen
  • embedding English genres for reading and writing
  • questioning skills
  • creating graphs, surveys, polls
  • creative commons images
  • using advanced safe searches online
  • chance for everyone to have their opinion heard

A blog works best when it is part of the daily classroom life rather than an extra add on.

Blogging in the curriculum

Clandon Park

coreeducation via Compfight

Lots of teachers start a class blog but some of them quickly go by the wayside.

Why is this?

Often it is because the teacher thinks of the blog as an add-on to the very full curriculum they already have to plan and teach.

Those teachers, though, who use their blog to plan and reflect on what they have taught, will  use their blog as part of the curriculum.

I am going to write a series of posts about how blogging can be an everyday part of your curriculum and how it can help with assessing students for their ICT capabilities as well as under the digital technologies curriculum.

I will create a category called Curriculum if you want to follow the posts more easily.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the comments of each post.

Let’s go global!

Are you and your class interested in

  • connecting with other blogging classes around the world?
  • adding interesting yet educational widgets to your blog?
  • using more web 2.0 tools in your posts?
  • reading what other students around the world are writing about?

Your answer is YES

Then join the March 2017 student blogging challenge.

  • First challenge began on Sunday 5 March so you won’t be behind.
  • Each week is a different topic with different activities to choose from.
  • Spreadsheet to find other classes and students to connect to by just clicking on a link to their blog.
  • If on holiday one week, miss those activities and come back to them later on.
  • No winner, just a chance to make connections and improve your blogging skills.
  • Add the challenge badge to your blog if you decide to take part.

Click here to register your class blog. If any of your students have their own personal blog, they can register here.

Maybe you would prefer to mentor a group of students. You might be able to connect each of your students to one, with their own blog,  taking part in the challenge.

Blogging at beginning of year

Class photo
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Anna M via Compfight

So you have spent many hours of your holidays or evenings getting your blog ready, even maybe taking part in the refresher course. You are overloaded with information and new terminology.

But how are you going to start blogging with your students?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start with paper bloggingHere is a post explaining how to do this. A video of grade 3 students doing paper blogging.
  • Why not create a bulletin board in the classroom explaining the terminology (check glossary in this blog header area) and adding the paper blogs in the post area.
  • Talk to students about creating safe, secure passwords. This blog post includes some videos for students to watch on passwords.
  • Check out how this teacher begins blogging with her class – great list of student friendly blogs to discuss.

In class meetings, discuss:

  • blog title and tagline
  • blogging guidelines – create page on your blog so parents also understand – link to post about pages and guidelines
  • quality comments – show Mrs Yollis’ video by her students and check out how she teaches quality commenting – video at bottom of this post
  • ideas for posts
  • monitors for blogging – eg class photographer, class reporters

So far, all this has been done before students even write on your class blog.

Have students leave comments on your posts without having logged in. This will help when they leave comments on other blogging platforms such as blogger, wordpress and kidblogs. Talk about their email address, the anti-spam word, how to change the anti-spam or captcha if they can’t read it.

Now teach them how to login, update their profile and change their password.

Have lots of posts for students to leave quality comments on. Allow them to visit other blogs on your sidebar to leave comments on those blog posts.

Finally allow those students who are commenting well to start writing posts on the blog – maybe working in pairs to start with.

Any thing else students could do early in their blogging?

 

Refresher day

Welcome to the first refresher day for 2017. I am going to use the blog for the agenda and links for you to go to. So let’s get started:

Introduce yourself by leaving a comment on this post.

  • What is your name?
  • The school you work at?
  • Role at that school?
  • Grade or subjects taught?
  • What you want to do with blogging in your class or school?

On the padlet post board below, leave a sticky note about what you want to learn from today?

 

Made with Padlet

 

If at the refresher day with staff members from the same school, put together a list of ways to use padlet on your blog. Or work in a small group to do similar activity. Here is how a student, Ashlin, uses Padlet on her blog.

Depending on if you are a new class blogger or continuing a previous class blog, check where to go next:

Updating last year’s blog:

Remove previous students – dashboard> users>all users – tick box in front of names of students who have left your class then up the top bulk delete

Add new students in bulk – if you have more than 10 then use the form found up in the pages area of this blog – forms and letters. Once you email the form to me, I can add the students in bulk.

Add new students one by one – dashboard> users> blog and user creator Remember to give students username and password similar to what is mentioned in the forms section above.

Write a new post introducing the new year for school – perhaps mention what you expect to be doing with blogging etc throughout the year. Remember great posts will have exciting title, image or video included and a question at the end to answer in the comments.

Delete any widgets that are no longer necessary or that you get students to choose during class. Check out this new post by Sue Waters from Edublogs about widgets on class blogs.

New bloggers

If you don’t have a class blog yet, check with Sue to get one created.

Have a look at the following blogs. Each one is different in how they are used in the classroom.

Mrs Hennessy and her noisy bird use the blog to communicate with parents, mention what is happening in class and websites they could use at home.

Mrs Moore has a lot of posts written by her students – I usually visit the class at the beginning of the year, teach a few students about blogging then they become the experts for the other students.

This is my student bloggers blog where I write how to posts and answer any questions students might have about blogging. I used to have a weekly online class with students who had their own blogs.

Working at College level, Rob used the class blog to give instructions to students but also to showcase their work.

This teacher at Franklin primary had a blog about raising chickens, so you might decide to have a special blog for just a short period of time. At Princes Street Primary they began a blog about their garden.

Time to start setting up your new blog: In the pages above the header of this blog you will see Setting up blog. Here I have listed the steps you need to follow to get your blog organized. Many of these are one off activities. Get help from Sue or the more experienced bloggers if you get stuck.

The rest of the day is practical.

  • Ask questions about blogging
  • Look at other blogs
  • Write some interesting posts
  • Look at the teacher challenges especially using blogging with students
  • Find out some tools to use that have embed code for your blog eg padlet, YouTube. I have some in the pages section Tools to use
  • Check out the Help and Support user guide for Edublogs