U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh via Compfight
From my previous post, you will see reason 7 to blog is:
To give students a global and authentic audience
That is why I began blogging back in 2008 – I wanted my students to see there is a world beyond their small town. We began with a class blog, then each student had their own blog, all open to the world.
But the world was not coming to them; the only comments they got were from each other or from me their teacher and occasionally a parent.
How could I get a global, authentic audience to visit my students’ blogs?
Back in 2008, I didn’t have any contacts to other teachers around the world. The students didn’t have any relatives living in other countries.
Then I remembered Sue Waters, my mentor who had started me on my blogging journey. I contacted her and she sent out a tweet to her educator friends on Twitter. I had joined Twitter 6 months previously but had not used it because I couldn’t really see any value to it.
Soon I had 3 teachers wanting to link our classes and to leave comments on student blogs. Here was the authentic audience, here was a global audience.
- Mrs Smith – grade 6/7 in Canada
- Inez – grade 6 students in Portugal
- Mr Bogush – grade 7 in USA
But this would never have happened if I didn’t have that one person who had a connected personal learning network.
So how are you the teacher going to develop a network of other educators who can then help comment on your student blogs?
I will be writing another post on developing a PLN (personal learning network).
DaPuglet via Compfight
Well St Patrick’s Day has been and gone for another year. I visited Ireland last year for about three weeks and visited some schools near Dublin and in counties Wicklow and Donegal. So on March 15, I sent out a tweet to the teachers I met
I then got a reply
While I was in Ireland, some students tried to teach me some Irish but they needed to write it in phonetic format for me to say it more easily.
How did I get to know Merry Beau?
That’s right , through blogging. Merry leaves comments in virtually every blog I tweet about and she has fantastic conversations with the students. Check it out here with Kendall and Nelly.
How can you make these overseas connections?
Join the student blogging challenge (see widget on sidebar) every March and September and connect with classes and students from all over the world.
Take part in activities like Global Read Aloud where teachers share common books to read to students.
Find out about other activities in the Global Classroom wiki. Check out the activities in the right sidebar.
I went to a meeting yesterday run by Roger Stack from the Marketing Services of the Tasmanian Department of Education. His presentation was about how the DoE is using social media now to connect with families and school communities. He mainly spoke about Facebook, looking at groups and pages, statistics you can find through a Facebook page. I have included his presentation as an embed on this post. I will also be adding links in the sidebar to relevant documents about various social media you might want to start using in your schools and classrooms.
If you have been looking at some of our other class blogs, you will notice some classes have their own Twitter feed, where students or teachers can add a tweet throughout the day. Like blogging, these are moderated by the teacher owning that Twitter name. Here is link to 5/6 Clark/Smith from Montagu Bay Primary School. Check out how they use twitter.
How do you get parents involved in your class blog? Again check out 5/6 CS – their teacher Mrs Smith has been blogging nearly as long as me and has now started getting comments from the local community.
Do you have a subscription widget on your blog to allow parents and community members to have your posts sent immediately to their email accounts?
Here are some other things you could be doing to get parents involved in your blog. This is part of the Teacher Challenge being run by Edublogs at the moment. Feel free to join us.
Leave a comment mentioning ways your students can think of to get parents involved on your blog?
This week I have been following a Twitter chat all about children’s rights. The leader of the chat is Mia who is from UNICEF Australia. She has been sharing lots of links relating to the rights of children around the world. The reason is that this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Convention of Rights for Children. I have included some of the great links she has shared with us as well as a post written by one of my online grade 6 students who had only learnt how to use the comic website that afternoon.
Here are the students Mia mentors – notice there is no one from Tasmania
What do you think about that quote? What do your students think about it?
Resources to check out
Here is a photostory to introduce the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to your class.
Tomorrow 19 August is World Humanitarian Day – what is your school doing to participate?
Links for children’s safety and values – mind matters, stronger/smarter schools, Alannah/Madeline Foundation, Plan organization
Newspaper article about students protesting re children in detention
Resources from UNICEF on children’s rights
Photostories to download explaining different children’s rights
Great books for children to read – especially since it is Bookweek this week in Australia
Projects to take part in
Create your own video challenge – ends soon so check out right now
UNICEF day for children in October – get resources here.
Project about Things that Matter with the young ambassadors
Your students could create comic strips like Ebony has here – use this post to learn how to make the comics using Make Beliefs
Videos to show students and staff
Creating a rights respecting school – video from Canada
Morris Gleitzman is an Australian UNICEF ambassador for children
UNICEF’s year in review video