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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

  • Roxy Hickman (View all users posts) 03 Apr 2013 6:14pm ()

    One thing that engaged parents in e-portfolio blogs at Kimi Ora School in Wellington was the inclusion of lots of videos. Kimi Ora school caters for students with very high needs, so the e-portfolios are driven by the teacher and therapists.

    The main aims and intentions for setting up ePortfolios for their students were as follows:

    1. A way for teachers, therapy team, support staff and family to assess each students progression within their IEP goals and daily routines at school.
    2. A place where the students family and friend can support and share in achievements in regards to all aspects of school life.
    3. A record of achievements and milestones.
    4. As another way of building relationships and communication between school and home.

    This video clip setting up e-portfolios at Kimi Ora shares the process of getting key people involved in e-portfolio blogs. Following this video all students had an e-portfolio developed within the following few months.

     

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Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

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