The first few techie brekkie sessions this year have been designed to revisit some of last years topics. The reasons for starting our year in this way were twofold. Firstly we have several new staff and secondly it is good to be reminded of some of the programs we first considered early last year.
This week we looked at blogging in our classrooms. We reaffirmed our commitment to be a blogging school and we discussed our reasons for blogging with our classes.
- An increased openness with parents about what is occuring in our classrooms. This is leading to better relationships with the parents of our students and a greater sense of community.
- The students are writing for an authentic audience, attracting readers to the class blog and individual student blogs increases their sense of self worth as a writer.
- Blogging with students integrates technology into the classroom in a seamless way. Students become competent uses of many different programs as they seek ways to express themselves in their blogs.
- It is a way to teach cyber safety in a ‘real’ setting.
Another teacher who writes anout why we should blog in our classrooms is Anne Mirtschin, she has been blogging for many years with her students and her top twenty reasons to blog, provide compelling evidence of its benefits.
Obviously some teachers and parents have fears or concerns about blogging and possible safety concerns. This is an excellent post by Ronnie Burt from edublogs which should answer some of your possible concerns. It also discusses issues surrounding the use of student photographs.
I recommended my staff listen to this excellent Virtual staffroom podcast by Chris Betcher, in which he talks to two inspiring teachers Kathleen Morris and Linda Yollis. They are successfully integrating blogging into an Australian year 2 class and a Californian grade 3 class.
So you are interested in starting but just not sure how to go about it? A great place to start is with Sue Water’s excellent post ‘How to create a class blog’. Our school uses edublogs as our blogging host platform. Each of our classes is now a pro member and the guidance and support from edublogs in the form of email assistance and their excellent PDF help guides is second to none.
Lois a teacher from Victoria also has a great page on her personal blog called Beginning Bloggers, follow her links for more advice and help.