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Using blogs and wikis to connect Beyond the Classroom.

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Started by Catriona Pene 25 Feb 2013 5:39pm () Replies (9)

When schools I am working in identify the Beyond the Classroom dimension, in the eLPF, as one they need to focus on, the question keeps coming up around how we can engage parents and the wider community in the children's learning.

One of my favourite and most successful ways is to use a blog (or wiki) to give parents and the wider community a window into the learning in the classroom and a voice to comment on learning and encourage the students.

However blogs (wikis) are no magic formula, you cannot set one up and just expect it to work, it's important you educate the parents around how they can become involved and keep the blog fresh and the children actively involved in order to keep the parents coming back for more.

Recently Allanh King bookmarked this great guide to involving parents in your blog (thanks Allanah) and it got me thinking about how much we presume parents know about blogging (wiki-ing) and how many teachers become disillusioned with their blogs because the parents and wider community fail to engage.

SO here are a few of my beginning of the year suggestions on how to get your parents engaged in your blog and I hope others of you bloggers (wiki-ists) out there will contribute your ideas and suggestions too.

1. Send a letter home at the beginning of the year introducing the blog and explaining the basics.

2. Provide opportunities before and after school for parents to access the blog via the classroom. The children can show their parents around and be the experts.

3. Teach your parents how to comment and subscribe to updates. Either by handout or in a mini after school workshop.

4. Put prompts to posts on the blog in your class newsletter, homework books, school newsletter...

5. Make a big fuss when parents do engage in the blog, comment or just visit. : )

Replies

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 27 Feb 2013 10:24pm ()

    Great contributions thanks Jill.

    You reminded me that i spent some of my literacy time teaching the students to write good comments and then displayed this sheet in the room and sent it home to help parents understand how they should comment too.

    see it here... Writing great comments on blogs.

    Keep the suggestions coming please!

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 28 Mar 2013 9:24am ()

    Malo Faafetai Togi, 

    I can understand parent's reluctance about their children's photos being shared with the world via a blog or a wiki, and recognise the need to tread carefully here and consider all cultural perspectives.

    In my mostly European and Maori class it was acceptable to parents to post photos of their children online, using only their first names to identify them.

    Maybe this could look different for other cultures.

    How do other cultures feel about the use of their children's names and images when being shared in this way? 

    Interested to hear from others about their perspectives and experiences.

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Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the classroom - Connecting school to the wider community with and about technologies.