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

Using images

Here's Looking at You

Russ Seidel via Compfight

This week’s prompt for #EdublogsClub is using images in blog posts.

I am not going to write a long post this time instead I am going to send you to some blogs and blog posts about using images.

I am personally taking part in a photo a day challenge. I have tried this for a few years and never made it all the way through the year. I use my iPad to take a photo then upload it to my blog via the Edublogs app. Write a bit of a post, add the categories and tags, then publish. I have chosen a them that automatically puts the first image in the post as the featured image. Thanks to Sue and Eugene (sorry I had Elliott) from Edublogs for their help in sorting this out. Keen photographers in your class, would be a great way for a group blog.

Mrs Yollis in California also takes part in a 365 day challenge with her students. She uses a blogger blog rather than Edublogs but she has students from around the world send in photos to her blog and leave comments. Click on the image to take you to the post and area to leave a comment.

When teaching students and teachers about images on their blogs, I use the post I have for the student blogging challenge. I use a lot of resources from various blogs around the world but I will leave it to you to have a look at the activities I get the classes and students to have a go at when using images. I rarely change this challenge other than to update to different student posts.

Student Leadership


Sorry I am a bit behind with the #EdublogsClub prompts but time to catch up today.

No longer working in a classroom, I mainly have contact with teachers beginning blogging in their classroom. Some of them feel their students know more technologically than they do. So I also offer to teach a small group of students the basics of blogging then they become the class mentors and teachers for the other students.

The students are usually quick to pick up the basics and are prepared to have a go even if they make a mistake. As I am available 24/7 through comments on my blog or by using my email, students will quickly send me a message if they are stuck eg adding attribution for images or adding a video.

I then suggest they go to the excellent user guide here at Edublogs to see if they can find the answer. Often I give them the page to save them time. Within a few minutes, I have a reply back, saying thanks and they have worked it out ; “Check out my post on endangered animals, Miss W. I just added a video I found on YouTube.”

After a few months of being the class blogging experts, teachers often then ask if those students can have their own personal blog attached to the class blog.

This means a round of teaching the teachers how to use the My Class setup on the blogs where they can create their student blogs, moderate posts and comments all before they go public to the world.

Another form of student leadership I am involved in,  is inviting students to be mentors in the student blogging challenge I run twice a year for 10 weeks each time. These students look after a group of 10-30 students their age or younger. They visit the student blogs leaving comments and making conversations within the comment area.

Three of these student mentors were  asked to create posters for use at a global education conference ISTE in 2016. You can see their results in the image at the top of the page. These students were from Canada, New Zealand and Portugal. They connected with each other via email to make sure each poster was different, then contacted me about a week before I needed the posters. That is certainly student leadership. As teachers we make sure the connections are safe then let the students work it out for themselves.


My office or not

Glossary for blogging with students

The prompt for this week’s EdublogsClub is to write about your office or classroom. As I am no longer a full time teacher, I don’t have a classroom. Instead I work wherever and whenever.

Since retiring at the end of 2011, I am now employed one day per week to teach blogging to interested teachers and students around Tasmania. I go to them; sometimes they come to me. I work in a classroom, a library, a computer lab or maybe at a coffee shop.

To do this I have to be organized. So I try to have everything written in blog posts on this, my work blog. If I am running a day training session or refresher course, one post will give the outline for the day including links. This means teachers of all levels can start where they want and progress as slowly or as quickly as they need. They can also get one to one help if they get stuck but they can also work together and help each other.

When working with students I generally go to their school and start off the blogs with them personally but for it to work well, they need a teacher who is also keen on blogging and allows them time in class to use them.  Sometimes I work online with students through a Blackboard Collaborate room where they login via a link and they then can share their work with me even though I might be 300 kilometres away from their school.

If a teacher wants some one on one help I can meet at their house or a local coffee shop with wifi or I can use the Blackboard Collaborate room with them as well. More often though, they email me their problem and we sort it out that way as I am on my email at least 12 hours per day.



Carol Vorderman's Sudoku red number 1

Leo Reynolds via Compfight

I have decided to join the #EdublogsClub where every week they email a prompt for a post relating to blogging and education. The first prompt is

My Blog Story

Most of my readers know I began blogging in 2008 after some help from Sue Waters. I was so new to blogging I wrote a post about a week later asking why people weren’t commenting.

This is where I found out the value of a PLN or personal learning network. You need to become a connected educator for blogging to succeed. Read other people’s blogs, leave tweets about posts you have written, connect with other teachers who also blog.

After a month or so blogging personally, I thought this would be great for my students, so I started a class blog. Then some students wanted their own blogs to write about things they were passionate about. One student wrote about archery – she is now a Tasmanian champion in the sport but no longer blogs.

Students weren’t connecting and having comments from around the world so Sue Waters sent out a tweet for other classes to leave comments and that began the first Student Blogging Challenge. In 2010, the challenge got its own blog and it is still being used 7 years later.

In 2010 I began teaching IT to all the students in grade 6/7 at my school so I began a blog for the Kids in the Mid. This blog became a teaching area showing students where to find information about blogging, being safe on the internet and so on. All the students had their own blog attached to the sidebar but unfortunately it was only used during IT time or if I taught the students in other subject areas.

2011 was the first year that I  travelled to America for a conference called ISTE – International Society for Technology in Education. I decided to take with me a little Tasmanian Devil soft toy and have him write a blog about our 3 month trip around America.

Since retiring at the end of 2011 I have also started other blogs: one for photography called an Image a Day even though I haven’t yet completed it for a full year, another for Family History and finally this one for the work I do for the Education Department blogging one day a week with teachers and students around Tasmania.