The easiest way to explain this is to put yourself in the shoes of a student:
Ever wish you could show everyone some fantastic ideas you published?
Ever had that sinking feeling when you arrived home to find that you left you home study book at school?
Ever needed clarification about an assignment task?
Ever wondered what your class pet gets up to when the lights go out?
Ever had you parents say they wish they could watch or comment about what you’re learning at school?
Blogging allows for interconnection despite location, demolishing the walls of the learning environment to allow the outside world a peek into the wonderful things we do every day, while providing students with safety and privacy.
Students take pride in their efforts and the responses to their published material, they are excited by the freedom of access to their online community. The entire learning community are exploring the newfound opportunity to connect with people all over the globe.
We now provide home study tasks, permission forms and teacher communication, instantly and from any location. We can question, communicate and explore ideas while being in total control of content and access.
In the Beginning…
In 2011, tentative steps were taken to introduce blogging into the literacy rotation in 3/4, the first posts instructing the children to respond to pictures and questions.
As the blog gained speed I was faced with a burning question – How do you get parents interested?
To get parents interested, the children need to motivate them to turn on their computers and find the blog. This means the students need to be excited by the blog, so the kiddies would learn how to access the blog again and again, inside and outside of school hours.
Enter Marcy: The celebrity guinea pig. Marcy was live broadcast, day and night.
This required the following:
The access should be 24 hours and free. I used youstream.
The students faces should not enter the frame. I filmed only the inside of the cage and we spoke to the students about appropriate behaviour.
There should be no sounds broadcast. I disabled the microphone.
At the student’s request Marcy should be able to be seen in the dark, as they were looking at her after school. At first I installed a camera with lights but was concerned she was not getting enough sleep. I installed a night vision camera.
In her prime Marcy was getting around 110 views a day.
Unfortunately, when the school was broken in to Marcy’s camera was damaged; and in November Marcy went to the big cage in the sky.
Thankfully she was not online when this happened.
It was not long until the students received their own blogs, the initial group had the very amusing attitude of “the chosen few”.
This leaves me with questions:
What happens next? Do we keep the old content for next year’s group?
Just because a student is moving from prep, 1/2, 3/4 or 5/6, do they have to change blogs?
Could we have a blog for each year level, eg: “The Class of (year they graduate from the school) Blog”?
Could we then also use it to serve as a record of their time at school?