RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

  1. B is for Blogging

    April 14, 2014 by Mrs Hurley

    This blog post is part of a series of posts following an A-Z theme, as adapted from the A to Z April Challenge.

    B is for Blogging

     

    I have always wanted to learn how to utilise a class blog. When the opportunity arose to attend “Technify Your Teaching in 2013” as run by the team behind Tech Tools for Teachers, I jumped at it! Myself and my teaching partner attended both sessions run by Kathleen Morris and Kelly Jordan. They showed us their class blog and it was completely inspiring. I knew I had to begin immediately!

    I could sit here and re-type my journey since starting a class blog and my own personal blog but I think I covered it pretty well in this post.

    Instead, after blogging for a year and a bit with my class, I think I am ready to analyse the benefits of blogging in the classroom, as based on my own experiences.

    While there are many, many possibilities and benefits of blogging with a class, I have noticed improvements in;

    • Literacy
    • ICT Skills
    • Classroom Community
    • Home/School Partnerships
    • Internet Safety
    • Global Connections and knowledge

    Let me explain how and why.

    Literacy:
    In teaching how to post good quality comments and demanding well written pieces for guest posts, these high expectations mean that students are determined to improve their literacy skills. Somehow, knowing that what they are writing will be available on the internet for everyone to see, students acknowledge that poorly punctuated and written comments are not acceptable. Nor should they be – in anything they do! I have seen dramatic improvement in writing – better use of punctuation and expanded vocabulary – and also in reading skills because there is a purpose for students.

    ICT Skills:
    Self explanatory, really.

    Classroom Community:
    Most mornings, we look at our class blog in our community circle. I can see the excitement on my students’ faces when they notice our ‘global visitors’ counter (Clustrmap widget) has increased. The students feel more connected as a class, and you can certainly tell by the amount of their own personal time that they spend on our blog leaving comments!

    Home/School Partnerships:
    Not only do the parents love having a window into the happenings of my classroom but so do siblings of my students! I know parents are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to see what we’re doing in class and participate in online conversations with us.

    Internet Safety:
    I love having the opportunity to teach my students how to be safe on the internet and create a positive digital footprint in an authentic setting!

    Global Connections:
    I have never seen my students so motivated as when they are collaborating with other classes on projects. We have worked with classes in New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia and Australia on a variety of projects. We have used Skype to help us form connections. We even had the chance to organise a day where my students met their blogging buddies in person! Not to mention the opportunities for my students to develop their knowledge of other places in the world. This is probably my favourite reason for blogging – flattening those classroom walls!

    Do you blog with your class? Why? Please leave your address in the comment section below!


  2. My First Post

    August 11, 2013 by Mrs Hurley

    Who would’ve thought that I’d be inspired enough to create my own personal blog?

    After attending the Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century Face-to-Face session on Friday and listening to all of our speakers, I came to a couple of conclusions.

    1. I need to make a bigger (positive) digital footprint
    I consider myself pretty tech savvy. I can usually fix any problems that the kids have with their netbooks without calling the technician. I use Facebook & Twitter personally. I moderate our class blog. I have organised Mystery Skypes & Guest Speaker Skypes for my students. However… I Googled myself the other day (something I swore I wouldn’t do – thanks Jenny Luca!) and was unusually disappointed. 3310 results. Most of which belong to a photography in America who shares my name (unique spelling and all.. I’m annoyed.) The thought occurred to me that this didn’t mean I wasn’t “good” with technology, this just meant I didn’t have such a huge online presence and I’m only just starting out. And that’s OK but I’d love to have a bigger name online (for good reasons of course).

    2. I’m on the right track with our class blog
    So far this year, my students have Quadblogged, Mystery Skyped, Tweeted (haphazardly) and Skyped with a teacher in Japan & a class in Malaysia to learn more about their culture for our Asia unit. Not to mention all of the positive outcomes just having a class blog has, such as improved writing skills when learning to write a quality comment. Can’t wait to start using Google Docs in the class!

    3. Nothing beats the connections I’ve made to other teachers this year
    It’s awesome.

    Finally, I’ll leave you with an important message I picked up on, shared with us by Peter Maggs. We can’t stand by and be aloof like cats. We all need to dive in with constant enthusiasm and “be more dog”!

    So, I’ve hoping to update my blog at least weekly. I’m really hoping it doesn’t just fall to the floor because I forget to post.

    Have you done any of the mentioned online ‘things’ with your class? What difficulties have you faced when creating your own personal blog? If you attended the Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century session, what did you think? What was your favourite part of the day?


Skip to toolbar