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Blogging 101 | An Enabling e-Learning event

Started by Karen Spencer 11 Jul 2012 10:01am () Replies (58)

BlogPerhaps you have seen other teachers doing it. Maybe you just do it for yourself. You've heard people talking about it but not sure how to get started, or how to take the next step.

Blogs offer a highly flexible technology that can be used across the curriculum to provide a window on the classroom, connect learning to family, create authentic audiences for writing, offer a space for reflection...and a myriad of other purposes related to pedagogy and learning areas.

This thread aims to provide stories, examples, tips and advice on how to harness the power of blogging and integrate it with effective learning.

Guest teachers and champion bloggers - Allanah King ('Life is not a race to be first finished blog), Kimberley Rivett (eLearning for Life blog), and Stephanie Thompson (Teaching the Teacher blog) - will be on hand to answer your questions and share their expertise.

Meanwhile, here's a wee video from Enabling e-Learning: Teaching to whet your appetite. Nic Mason, teacher at Russell Street School, says, "teaching the kids something and letting them experiment in their own way" has enabled his students technological capability to develop. He and his students describe the process, some of the tools, and the learning they gain and reflect on, through creating blog posts:

[Image: freedigitalphotos.net]


  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 17 Feb 2016 7:53am ()

    This blog post by Kelly Christopherson gives some great pointers about getting started with blogging (or continuing with it: Blogging as a professional.

    In it, Kelly discusses the need to be consistent with blogging. Find a time that works for you (while he definitely knows that life, especially work, creeps in), and make it a routine.

    He also says it's important to follow your own path. Make sure you know why you're blogging and blog about yourself - what you've created and/or accomplished. He comments that often we get focused on others and what they're doing instead of looking at our own strengths.

    Blogging shouldn’t be a chore. If it is, then maybe you need to reconsider your “why”. Or maybe you haven’t found something that you can run with yet.

    If you're interested in getting started with professional blogging or need some pointers to get back into it, then this blog post is worth a read. 

  • Tamara Bell  (View all users posts) 25 Jun 2015 2:17pm ()

    Hi quick question VLN whānau...can you embed EdTalks into a Blogger blog?  From what I can figure out, you can only embed YouTube videos and EdTalks are not on YouTube.  I know I could put in a link to the EdTalk but that just doesn't look good to me, would much prefer the actual clip embedded into the blogpost.  Any advice much appreciate, ngā mihi!

  • Barbara Reid (View all users posts) 25 Jun 2015 9:09pm ()

    Hi Tamara, 

    If you get the embed code from the video and go to the blog, switch the editor to html code then you can paste the code in. Worked for me.




  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2015 12:02am ()

    Hi Tamara,

    your question intrigued me so I had a little play. I can't see where you would find the embed code I must be looking in the wrong place, but I noted you can download TED Talks as mp4 and thenin Blogger you can select the video icon and upload it. It seems to work on my Android tablet using the Chrome browser, give it a try on your device.

    Cheers, Monika

  • Barbara Reid (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2015 11:21am ()

    Hi Tamara and Monika                                                                                                                                              

    At the bottom of the edtalks video, it says Embed / Download from Vimeo. Click on that and it takes you to the video on Vimeo. On the top right there are three symbols. the bottom one is Share. This gives you access to the embed code which you can then add to your blog post when in html editor. Danielle on edtalks Hope this helps. 








  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2015 4:32pm ()

    Thanks heaps, Barbara, the perils of using a tablet late at night! On my laptop I can clearly see where to embed, but the option does not come up when I use my Nexus tablet (Android) - interesting!

    Cheers, Monika

  • Barbara Reid (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2015 10:03pm ()

    I was wondering why you couldn't see it. It was so clear on my laptop. Never occurred to me you were on a tablet. #usingmylaptop smiley


  • Jeanette Hinerangi Eruera Murphy (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2012 8:16pm ()

    A little more to add...

    For three years I worked alongside a number of Y6-Y8 students as e-Learners in a digital classroom.  They managed their own webspaces and all work was completed online.  We found web2tools that would accomodate and any Word documents were converted to pdf files.  So... for them it became what was considered 'a norm' to check, recheck and assess work before posting live.

    Now that I'm back in the classroom fulltime with Y5-Y6 students (and another school), 'the expectations' have not changed.   

  • Cheryl (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2012 8:05pm ()

    We installed predictive text software and it helps with accuracy of spelling. One we used is "Word Que" and works with MS Word. 

  • Jeanette Hinerangi Eruera Murphy (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2012 8:02pm ()

    @Jennie...Congrats on posting your blog live. 

    We had our receptionist travel overseas with the school mascot-buddy last term and so I created a page within our class weebly just to document her travels.  She would e-mail me info and images that I would place up (as she did not feel confident doing it herself and all classes in our school just loved following her journey).

    In answer to your patai....I would agree that surfaces features are equally as important as the content of the blog post.  Students I work alongside will type up in MS Word, check, peer assess then copy and paste.  They are often reflecting on what is written and have learnt very quickly to... 'do it once, do it right'.  

  • Kimberley Rivett (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2012 7:59pm ()

    I think that once you decide the 'purpose' for blogging with your class, then you can decide whether the surface features will be most important or whether the content and reflective process will be the focus. For my class, I have never placed a huge amount of emphasis on the surface features as there are many children for whom writing is a huge stumbling block already, so I prefer to have them writing and enjoying it.

  • Cheryl (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2012 6:33pm ()

    re: surface features -  Depends on how you want your blog to be. If it is a display blog then surface features are important and checking and editing needs to be done before publishing. As a contrast, we are using our blogs to improve reading and writing and one of our aims is for our posts and comments to be more accurate in terms of surface features. We expect to see an improvement over the year. The class and I review posts and comments and give each other feedback. We use our writing level expectations as a point of reference. We also have our writing "mantras" that are small sayings like "using i for I = level 1'. "no paragraphs - is not in level 3!".  

  • Jennie L (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2012 11:16am ()


    How important is the proof-reading part of blogging / commenting? For example I expect that my Yr 4/5 class put capital letters and full stops in the right places, however when they are draft writing they often forget and then go back and fix them up later.

    It can be such a task for them to type a comment and I can't always check them before they push publish.  But when I go to moderate them and publish them on the blog I notice the absence of capital letters but there is no option to edit the comment and fix them.

    If the purpose is to get the children writing and sharing with an audience do I publish the comment even though it hasn't met all the requirements of a quality comment? It's out in the public domain and reflects on the school.

    It seems to defeat the purpose to have them write a draft copy of a comment first then type it up and the content of their comments is great but the punctuation lets it down.

    What would you do?

  • Fiona Robertson (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2012 12:23pm ()

    I know one teacher who expects capitals, full stops etc when their class are writing comments and blog post. when it come to writing comments she has the children wirte the comment in the comment box of the post and before they push publish they have to have either her or the class TA check it. If there is no mistakes they can then publish. This way the children are not wasting their time writing a draft for one or maybe 2 sentences. 

  • Greg Carroll (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2012 12:50pm ()

    Surface features are important.  I don't believe at all we should be letting kids off the surface feature hook.  It is a perpetual 'problem' for teachers to have children not naturally using these things despite the fact we go over and over and OVER them.  But shouldn't we be expecting they are knowledge in the same way as basic facts are in maths, or sight words in reading? Part of audience awareness and showing respect for your reader?

    This is something peer vetting before pushing publish solves reasonably easily and outside of the teacher needing to 'check' (in my experience).  It is important to establish the expectation that anything public is correct.

    My 2c worth....

  • Jennie L (View all users posts) 08 Sep 2012 10:02pm ()

    Hi All

    I have just started blogging with my class - I took 4 weeks leave and had a blog to share my travels around Greece and the UK. Then over the past 2 weeks we have been learning about writing quality comments - the reading and writing through commenting my class have been doing has been fantastic - I love how they have had to be critical about what makes a good comment or not and that it gives them an authentic context for writing. We practised writing comments using sticky notes on our work.

    This week our class blog went 'live'  - I am starting with me posting and them commenting - now that they know the requirements for commenting they are applying their knowledge pretty well - and if it doesn't work the first time no-one complains when they have to go back and fix it up because they realise the importance of publishing it for such a big potential audience.

    The best part for me has been the conversations that have started through the comments - they carry them on from home as well.

    My next challenge is to keep them engaged in the commenting and conversations...

  • Stephanie Thompson (View all users posts) 06 Sep 2012 9:19pm ()

    If I was to use one word to summarise effective blogging it would be engagement. With the student, with their family, with their community, with the world.

    At every step engagement doesn't just happen you need to help make it happen. You provide organisation supports for your learners, you remind parents, you use your network for your blog, you network with other teachers.

    Yes it seems like a lot of work. But much like going to the gym, the task isn't so big if you do a bit each day.



  • Kimberley Rivett (View all users posts) 06 Sep 2012 9:58pm ()

    I have to agree Stef, it really is all about regular blogging with the students and engagement is paramount. I would also add that having an authentic audience is huge, but having an authentic learning focus and having real life contexts for blogging - reflection on learning but in a way that students are inspired by - is absolutely imperative. The most impacting student blogs seem to be the ones where the students are driving the learning and they are passionate about deciding on their content. I realise that with younger learners there is a lot of scaffolding involved towards gaining more independence, but the students love the ownership that comes from blogging - it is like no other platform in that respect.

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