October 28

The Student Blogs Are Live!

Over the last 4 (short) weeks, our students have started learning about the different functions of their blogs. They’ve created avatars, started writing posts, embedded images, and have even gotten some comments from other students around the world!

We have been able to do all this because we are participating in the Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge!

There are so many things I love about this program.

  1. Students are EXCITED to blog! Every day they come in asking me if we will be working on our blogs today. Imagine…they want to write…and document…and publish their work for a global audience!
  2. Students are learning important skills, such as keeping themselves safe online, interacting respectfully with others, editing their work to a point of being proud to share it with the world, and are making important decisions about what to share and why.

If you scroll down on the right hand side of this blog, you will see links to our student blogs.

Read them, comment on them! Here are some of the rules we’ve come up with when commenting that we’d like you to follow:

  • Address the author by their blogging name (that means use their alias if they are using one, even if you know their real name)
  • Be polite
  • Be appropriate
  • Agree or disagree with the blog and tell the author why
  • Add an opinion or thought that could help the blogger improve
  • Give details and ask questions
  • If you are a parent of the blogger, please comment with your first name only to help continue keeping our students’ identity safe.

Feel free to share these blogs with your family and friends. It is so exciting every time someone gets some love and attention on their blog 馃檪

September 23

Student Blogfolios

The day has come….we are ALMOST ready to launch our student blogfolios!

Hopefully your child has come home today with a letter outlining why we do student blogfolios, and all the different options of privacy.

In case it got lost on the way home, or was eaten into the depths of the schoolbag, here is a digital version. (blog post continues after the embedded document)

I want to reiterate that our ultimate goal is to help students learn communication, reflection and digital citizenship skills, including online safety, that will help them throughout their lives. In case you are still unclear of how this could look, here are some live examples to help put it into context.

Public Blogfolio聽 – This student has been blogging since Kindergarten. It’s wonderful to see how her learning has grown and developed over time.

Public Avatar Blogfolio – This student has just begun her blogging journey and has chosen to keep her name and identity private. We are still able to see her growth and interact with her on her journey. Notice how students have learned to respect her privacy by using the alias in the comments as well.

Password Protected Blogfolio – This student has shared her name and is open to leaving some posts public, however when she shares pictures or videos, she has password protected the post. Only those who have been approved by her or her parents are allowed to know the password.

Private Blogfolio – This blog is completely private. Unless you have an Edublogs account and have been granted access to this blog, you will not be able to see the content.

 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, I am always available to discuss. If you could please sign and return the permission form by Thursday, that would be greatly appreciated!

May 28

A Class Full of Bloggers … and you’re invited to join us!

Our student blogs have been launched and are well on their way! Students have been busy customizing, personalizing, and populating their blogs. They’ve also started to read and comment on each other’s blogs. Please make sure to use the links in the side menu to see what your children and their classmates have been up to. It helps add value for them if you comment, following our commenting rules.

 

And as always, blogging is not for naught. Please read the letter below, mark your calendars, and let me know if you’ll be able to join us. Don’t worry if not! We will find alternate ways for you to participate and share with us.

 

 

May 6

Blogging Bingo!

B-I-N-G-O!!

Here is our newest Blogging Challenge. Students will add to their personal blogs, and are challenged to complete as many of these challenges as they can! We will also continue adding work based on other activities we are doing in class. Students are always allowed, and encouraged, to post about things they are doing in school, in all subjects.

It is my hope that we will have a mini student led conference, where you will come into school and your child will walk you through their blog, including all the artifacts of their learning. More information on this to come.

Please continue to check your child’s blogfolio and comment! Remember to leave your last name off when commenting to help keep the privacy of your child. Asking questions, adding information, and offering suggestions are all great things to include in your comment.

And as always, if you have any questions or comments for me, please leave them below 馃檪

April 29

The Student Blogs Have Arrived!

geralt / Pixabay

In case you haven’t noticed the links on the side of our class blog (look on the right hand side, below the yellow Pages “post-it”) all the students’ blogs are linked. They aren’t fully set up, customized, and inhabited just yet, but they will be added to very soon!

As this is new for the teachers as well, we’re working out all the kinks, but I can’t wait for you to see all the incredible work your children will be doing.

I will be posting more updates throughout the week, including a Blogging Bingo Challenge, quality blog writing tips, and suggestions for writing quality comments. The more you read and comment, the more authentic their work will feel! Hopefully you will share the links with family and friends as well.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

April 12

Parents: All Aboard!

(Originally posted on my professional blog. Copied here to share the excitement. If you haven’t already signed the permission form, please do so!)

At this point, I’ve dipped my toes in the documenting waters with my students. I’m ready to jump in and launch individual blogfolios. I have to decide:

  • What will the URLs be?
  • What permissions, if any, do I need to get from parents?
  • How will I manage posts and comments?

I spoke with my Head of School to get the school’s perspective. I then spoke with the documenting guru, Silvia Tolisano. She shared her views, which helped guide me towards other educators’ thoughts and experiences.

Combining all this information together, along with my own opinions and knowledge of our parent body, I have written the parent letter below. I wanted to include information about what a blogfolio is, why documenting learning is important, and offer options that fit our school’s needs and meet the parents where they currently are. The hope is that most families will opt to allow their child to have a completely public blog. If parents opt for one of the other options, the hope is that they will eventually change their privacy settings once they, and their child, see the added value of a public-facing blog.