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Implementing School Wide Class Blogs

Milestone 5
Reflective Summary 2012

National Goal 3:

Increase teachers’ capability to integrate e-learning effectively into their practice creating an innovative and exciting learning environment for all students.

Our e-Learning Vision:

For all learners at Russley School to be safe, confident and digital citizens able to access the NZC with blended e-learning opportunities that support them anytime, anywhere.

To achieve this we have provided PD to teachers build teachers’ capability so they can set up and maintain class blogs.

How will blogging help meet this vision?

  • Class blogs will foster student ownership and collaboration.
  • Blogs allow students a genuine forum to share their learning to a genuine audience.
  • Students are able to practise digital citizenship skills in a safe online community.
  • Blogs encourage enthusiasm for writing.
  • Blogs can link to other online learning tools.
  • Parents are able to participate and provide feedback.
  • Blogs can be accessed anywhere on any internet capable device – no specific software or hardware needed.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate in learning conversations with a wider community.
  • Commenting on blogs is a useful tool for on-going reflection and evaluation.

Class Blog Implementation Process:

To ensure the success of the class blogs we used a process that enabled all teachers, regardless of their ICT experience level, to create an online community.

 Initial exploration:

  • We looked at a variety of online collaborative resources and discussed their purposes.  E.g.  A comparison of the features of blogs, wikis and weeblys.
  • We provided PD on blogging and web 2 tools both ‘in school’ and by outside providers as part of our ICTPD cluster programme. Teachers trialled a variety of online tools during PD sessions. It was important to get ‘buy in’ by teachers by introducing exciting and innovative online resources.
  • Protocols for using online tools were established.*
  • Some teachers established blogs, weeblys or wikis during this phase. These teachers used their new knowledge to share with/mentor other teachers.
  • We developed a digital citizenship curriculum to support the student s using online resources.*
  • We reviewed our Internet Use Policies in line with the use of blogging.

Implementation:

  • This year we have established blogs for all classes.
  • Further PD workshops have been provided. The workshops are designed to meet the needs of different experience levels.*
  • Teachers have a choice of the blogging application.
  • Blogs are being used as authentic opportunity for students to communicate with each other and the wider community. 
  • Guidelines for blog privacy settings have been established.*
  • Teachers set eLearning goals as part of our appraisal process.
  • The school website provides links to class blogs and our Online Learning Wiki. http://russleywebsite-onlinelearning.wikispaces.com/
  • Student email addresses allow ‘member’ rights to publish posts based on class blogs
  • Students are given opportunities to collaborate in blog communities in literacy programme.
  • The Digital Citizenship curriculum is revisited as authentic opportunities arise throughout the year.*  E.g.  Making valuable comments on blogs.  
  • A system of at least two administrators for each blog has been put in place. Teachers are using a consistent password for online tools that are set up for students to use. A list of class blogs, addresses, administrators and web 2 tool passwords is kept on the server. This is to ensure that we can keep track of the information we have stored online and can access blogs in the event of a teacher leaving the school or taking leave.

Student Voice

  • Students from two senior classes were involved in the initial set up of their class blog.
  • They had the opportunity to look at a variety of blogs and decide on what to include.
  • These students are now teaching the rest of the class the skills needed to make posts.
  • Survey monkey was used to record students’ feedback following the setup of these blogs.

Reflection

The introduction of class blogs has been successful. Our process has allowed the more experienced teachers flexibility in blogging options. Less experienced teachers have been supported to develop their skills and blogs at an appropriate pace.

A next step for us is to increase the opportunities for student ownership and collaboration on the class blogs. Making valuable and reflective comments on own blogs and the blogs of others will be a school wide focus.

We are making progress towards using blogs as an anytime, anywhere learning tool: http://team3russley.weebly.com/. However, we need to increase the capability of all teachers to provide anytime learning opportunities through blogging. We will use a staff PD session for teachers to share their progress and reflection.

Blogging provides means of engaging whanau. We will need to explore ways to foster parental support with comments and feedback.

* See attached files.


Comments

  • Catriona Pene

    It is great ot read your reflection and to see the great progress you are making in sharing your students work through blogging.

    I see that you are looking to increase the parent comments and involvement in your blgos so may I suggest you take a look here to hear some great discussion around involving parents and communities in blogs and teaching students to leave thoughtful comments.

    Best of luck with developing your blogging as an anytime, anywhere learning tool.