Blogging: for me, you and your students

 

With one week until my official starting date, this week is set to be a busy one. Meeting with both of my Supervisors on Monday, and am a bit excited to meet, in person, my second supervisor. Wednesday and Friday I am booked into 2 different workshops, for Post Graduate researchers orientation and a ‘new’ supervisors workshop (to upskill for the future). LT is booked into before care and I hope that goes smoothly too.

In myself, I feel set and focused. My meal planning is done, my goal setting is done and my ethics….is almost done LOL. It will get there 🙂

Thanks for the feedback I got about when I should blog, and if it matters really. I think I will keep blogging on a Sunday and give you ‘bonus blogs’ when I find something special to share.

In thinking about blogs, I found myself on a web searching tangent and began to think again about blogs and their use in education. This blog has been a great reflective tool for me. While my ‘teacher candidates’ last year had mixed reactions to the idea of allowing students to blog, I encourage you to think about the wider purpose of a blog, and in fact any journaling you ask students to complete. I recall my own childhood experience of Grade 4 process writing, where spelling etc didn’t matter we just had to write. And in Year 10 English we had to keep a journal every week with the same criteria. It helps students understand there are different purposes and requirements for different styles of writing. A student’s blog of their learning journey doesn’t have to have correct spelling and paragraph structure, as this may not be your aim for the blog (especially at primary school). The fact that these blogs can be kept private (within the school community and by invitation only) allows the same flexibility as an exercise book did in the old days, it just can’t be lost as easily!

My friend Liz, who is a teacher, blogs for her own reflective practice: Adventures in Contemporary Learning.  Liz also uses blogging with her students for a number of reasons, including getting students to record and articulate their own learning journey. Students will write their own blogs and then comment on each others. Parents can also access these blogs to participate in the students learning.  They can be quite powerful for everyone involved, and they can be kept private and have email only access to protect the learning environment of the students.  The fact that LT asked for his own blog over the holidays is testament to the fact that some kids really want to participate in the online community (we compromised with LT, he now sends me emails with notes of what he wants to blog and when he has a few, I will set up a blog with him…yes, he already uses i-web to make web pages of his own).

A further blog about blogging with students is here: Learning About Blogs FOR Your Students- Part II: Writing | Langwitches Blog. It encourages teachers to blog themselves to gain confidence in the purpose of the technology and then transfer this learning to the classroom. I really like this idea, as the teacher is learning along with the students, providing opportunities to build stronger links within the classroom. The other blogs in this series are also worth a look, and to begin thinking about whether blogging is a tool that may benefit your classroom.

Blogs can be used as, of and for learning. How might it work for you?

Until next week,

Fiona T

 

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