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Our Blog and Wiki Journey

Mahora Primary School
Decile 3
Roll 300
Years 0 - 6
Magpie ICT Cluster - 2nd Year of Cluster

Cluster Goal
Goal 1B Students will have opportunities to connect, collaborate and create
Mahora Goal
Students will be given the opportunities to connect, collaborate and create digitally

What we did collaboratively as a school:
Initially, E-learning Leaders were introduced to blogs and wikis as a vehicle to collaborate and create digitally, at a first Lead Teacher Magpie Cluster Meeting early in 2010.  Upon reflection, both leaders began a journey with these tools as we felt it was a great way to connect within the school digitally and with our school community.  At Assembly sharing another classroom teacher who, upon attending a Magpie ICT cluster workshop about blogs, talked about the joy of her class being “Bloggers”.  This lit a fire amongst our staff and slowly but surely other teachers began to take the blog and wiki journey.  Lead teachers and other users of blogs helped to get the less confident users on board by providing scaffolding sessions, guidance and teaching sessions to help them become more confident bloggers.  This included -

  • Year 2 teachers began a blog together.  This year they have branched out and our now doing a class blog each.
  • The Year 1 teachers have started a blog together this year.  The aim is for them to begin their own class blogs next year.
  • Two classes in the middle school began a class blog last year.  This year, the other two middle school teachers have started one, initially with the guidance of the rest of the middle school.

When introducing staff to blogs, the initial input on the blog was teacher directed.  It was a diary of what was going on in classrooms, with useful websites down the side.  Slowly this is beginning to shift and blogs are now evolving into a tool that gives our children an opportunity to share their learning with a wider audience.  Our hope is for this to provide a better opportunity for children to receive feedback and ultimately enhance their learning.

Actions - Next Steps:
Once several people had taken blogs or wikis on board, the Lead Teachers felt that a school Wiki would be a wonderful resource for the school as it was an opportunity for the school to use an on-line space collaboratively.  We felt that this was the next logical learning step for our teachers.  They would have an online space in which they could share ideas, plans and e-learning tools.  The learning and knowledge gained from running classroom blogs could now be easily shared.  
The Mahora School Learning Centre (MLC) Wiki includes -

  • Useful Web 2.0 tools (refer left side of home page for “How to’s” on various Web 2.0 tools - Mahora School Wiki)
  • Collaborative planning site for team inquiry focus Team 2 planning

This was developed at the end of the first year of the contract and has proven to be a popular tool for teacher development.  Any Lead Teacher Workshop notes have been added, useful Web 2 tools and how to use them, teaching ideas and team inquiry ideas have all been added to this.  
The MLC is now accessible and widely used by other cluster schools.  Cluster workshops run by the Mahora Leaders have been added to the MLC and are available to view.

Recently classes have begun commenting regularly on each others blogs.  Our next step will be for our blogs to receive more on-going comments from parents (after a Parent Evening to educate our whanau) and also, the prospect of quad-blogging with other schools at the same year levels across the cluster.  Currently 92% of our classrooms are regularly blogging or using a wiki. There is still one teacher who is proving difficult to motivate.  We hope to have her on board by the end of the year.

Summary of Key Results
Teacher Voice

Examples of Current Blogs/Wikis
1 Connecting

2 Connecting

1 Collaborating

2 Collaborating

1 Creating