I hear your skeptical exclamation!! However, it is wonderful when students think they are having so much fun, they forget that they are actually learning.Students can write posts, comments and be motivated to have their work chosen for a post. I first started because I wanted somewhere I could out the links we use all the time in the classroom. Otherwise they were going to a word document or writing down the address.Children are happy to read through comments. I make a point of replying to all of my comments.You may say how can I use it in a prep room? Parents can still read it! And on that note, don’t be scared to use this in the lower classrooms. The children we teach now are digital natives – unlike us who grew up without computers and are always trying to play catch up. These kids have been brought up around technology. You will constantly be surprised by what these kids can do! Kathleen McGeady, a grade 2 teacher in Geelong has been teaching her kids HTML language and how to write comments using it!My experience is that students want their blogs to look good in both terms of presentation and content. Blogs allow text, multimedia, widgets, audio and images – all items that digital natives want to useChildren learning how to proof read comments and posts before publishingThey learn cybersafety and netiquetteThey can share with each other, staff, their parents, the community, and the globe.This is digital literacy!
Really think about the purpose of your blog, is it to inform parents, a place to put resources for children, homework support, a place for reflection or an alternative space for children to post their homework? Mine is now a combination of reflection/resources and a place to show parents what is happening at school. It may have started off being a place to put links butIt is actually evolving as I learn more and the purpose becomes broader!Teach specific skills for blogging and highlight things you add to the blog. In our lab time I start each session with a visit to our blog and I highlight terrific comments the children have made and we discuss why they are good. I also model how to write a comment. Their latest comments aboutI have each comment emailed to me – and make sure I approve the first comment they make. I firmly believe that their spelling should be correct because it is in a public space …the children are working on it, but in the meantime I edit each post (This can be an onerous task , but I try and only have small groups blogging each day – and have been managing quite successfully). Reply to all of their comments – it will make them come back!Don’t try and do it all at once…start small, That way you are not overwhelmed and can start adding a few fancy bits when you get the hang of things.Make your blog a place the children visit frequently and want to visit. I am really encouraging them to reflect regularly. I include time during the week for them to reflect either on their week or a particular task. I often ask a small group to blog as part of a computer task, literacy or maths rotation.
You will need to use you edumail account for it to be used as it is actually owned by the Dept!
Your dashboard is where all of your changes will happen. The left hand side has all of the options you will need. First we will make it safe.
So why blog?
• It is FUN!
• Increased motivation for writing
• Increased motivation for reading
• Strengthening the home school relationship
• Pride in their work
• Extension of transferable ICT skills
• Increased proofreading and validation skills
• Prepares students for digital citizenship
• Ability to share
• Digital Literacy
First time blogging
• Think about the purpose
• Don’t do it all at once
• Make it something kids want to visit
• Teach specific skills
• Moderate comments
• Let the kids believe you have ICT super skills!
It must be an Edumail address!
Think of a name!
• Don’t stress – you can change the name of the
blog later but your web address (domain) will
always be the same so think carefully!
• These people didn’t:
– Pen Island @ www.penisland.com
– Experts Exchange @ expertsexchange.com
• This is your blog now.
• To login and make changes:
Go to www.globalteacher.org.au
Add wp-admin to your web address
• The first step is to go to Settings
• Then go to Discussion.
– Click on the button ‘An administrator must always
approve a comment’
• Now the fun bit!
• Click on themes and choose your theme!
• Some of them you can add you own pictures!
• THINK WIKI!
• Let’s make a post!
• First delete the one you have
• Now to write your own. Use the skills you
have from the wiki to help you.