Thanks teachers

Thank you card – handmade Rainbows style!

Sarah Joy via Compfight

Thank you to those teachers who got in touch with me about starting their students with their own personal blogs. We now have 31 primary school students (mainly grades 4/5) with their own personal blogs. We also have some secondary students using blogs as part of their English programme.

When reading posts and comments on this blog’s sidebar, we also have at least 12 keen posters and commenters contributing well on their class blogs.

To find all these student bloggers and posters in one place, visit our Students as Bloggers Blog.

It would be great if some teachers and parents could visit these students, read a post and leave a comment.

I have also been out and about visiting at schools both in the north and the south of the state. Remember I am available to visit and to run PD with other interested teachers during school or after school.

I will be available throughout term 4 which is a great time for teachers to learn how to blog, get a class blog set up ready to use from the beginning of next year.

I am already booked though on the day after Show Day here in Hobart.

Students blogging

Now it is term 3, it might be time to begin blogging with your more talented students.

Do you have a student with a passion for horses, LEGO, Minecraft, netball, astronomy, reading etc?

If the answer is YES, then maybe they could have their own blog to share their knowledge with other class members as well as the rest of the world.

Students who have their own blog need to be keen and eager to connect with others as well as write about their passion. Here is an  example of a student showcasing their voice.

Penelope began in mid 2015 when in grade 2 and worked on her blog for about a year.

What did Penelope learn about being a good digital citizen when using her blog?

  • how to use creative commons image
  • how to add images and videos to her blog
  • taking part in a global blogging challenge
  • replying to comments from her viewers
  • writing posts relating to information in comments
  • using a variety of tools on her posts
  • how to add widgets using embed code (some of these are no longer working as they are not secure sites)
  • how to write great posts in paragraphs including images or videos
  • using her voice to express her opinion

If you have some students who might be keen to start their own blog, please get in contact with me (check the email contact on the sidebar).

I will need to know student name,  student email, grade student is in, school, teacher name and if teacher wants a class blog.

I will be running  afternoon sessions for those students who might need help. You will find this blog helpful and the classroom link will be found on the sidebar there from the beginning of August.

 

Lost some widgets

The department has recently added an SSL certificate to our blog domain and this now makes the blogs more secure. You will notice they now start with https:// instead of http://

But this means some of the widgets you have added to sidebars such as class pets from bunnyherolabs, vokis and feedjit live stream might not be showing properly.

I have been testing a way around this using Julie Moore’s blog and the only widget not working now is feedjit. I have contacted the website and will wait for an answer about how to fix it.

If you have a class pet or voki, the easiest way to fix is go to

dashboard>appearance> widgets> find the one with the code for that widget and wherever http:// occurs in the code, add the s to make it https://

This is occurring because of using the flash player to show the pet and voki on your blog.

NotatISTE2017

This time last year, I was attending the ISTE conference in Denver, Colorado. But, unfortunately this year I am #NotatISTE.

Even though I am not there in person, I can attend parts of the conference virtually. Here are some of the ways to do that:

1. Twitter – you don’t need to be a member of Twitter to take part in the conversations there. A great place to get ideas for use in the classroom, tools to use on your blog and other educators to chat with around the world.  You do need to be a Twitter member, though, if you want to include your opinion on any of the topics.

Follow hashtags on Twitter – #ISTE2017, #ISTE17, #NotatISTE2017, #NotatISTE17

2. #NotatISTE Google+ Community – this began a few years ago and now has thousands of teachers and educators around the world participating in this community. You have a chance to create your own avatar and include it on your own badge with ribbons. There is a Daily Challenge as well as a general challenge for the conference period.

3. ISTE unplugged live – sessions run by educators not attending ISTE and using the Blackboard Collaborate rooms for the presentations.

4. Periscope – follow educators as they video what is happening at ISTE. Check out #passthescopeedu and their weebly found here, Shelly Sanchez has part of the keynote here.

5. Follow Sue Waters who has created a great blog post about NotatISTE and how she makes the most of attending the conference virtually.

6. Flipboard – a way to curate lots of blog posts relating to ISTE

7. Livebinders – another way to curate resources from ISTE

Authentic audience

Political Officer of the U.S. Embassy provided a presentation for the 2016 U.S. Election Discussion Series at the Information Resource Center (IRC). He answers the students' questions including those on political party conventions, primaries and caucuses.

Creative Commons License 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).

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