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Teacher Workshop: Using your class blog as a teaching and learning tool!

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By Kate Dare

All classrooms in St James’ have a class blog. In Week 6, the St James teachers attended a “Using your class blog as a teaching and learning tool!” workshop lead by Lyn Ross. This focused on integrating the class blog into current classroom practice, rather than making it an ‘extra thing’ to fit in. Lyn outlined the stages that blogs will be used for when teachers first start using them. These are:

  1. Initially the blog will be a gallery, a web 2.0 shrine and show only quality work.
  2. The blog will become a display space to share learning with family members and anyone else who is interested.
  3. A display space and an engaging forum actively used in the process of learning.

Teachers related to this and could identify which stage they were at. This allowed teacher to see the progression they needed to make to get to the next stage and outlined an ‘ideal’ use of the blog to aim for in the future.

Lyn also raised the question of “What levels of thinking are in our blog posts?” This is already something that has been considered at St James. As a lead teacher I am trying to promote the use of blog posts for reflectional purposes and for critical thinking, particularly with the Junior Team teachers who are being mentored this term by myself (Lead Teacher) and Mary (Cluster Facilitator). There are posts on class blogs show students reflections (http://teamworktens.blogspot.com/2011/05/woody-weed-came-to-talk-to-us-at-school.html, http://room5stjames.blogspot.com/2011/05/our-thinking-during-re-about-how-we-can.html)and critical thinking, mainly using the thinking hats (http://threedimensionalthrees.blogspot.com/2011/05/walt-write-to-inform.html). As such the blogs are actively being used in the process of learning.