Module 2

Embraced by Words
Photo Credit: Robbert van der Steeg via Compfight

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about blogs.
  • Create your own blog and add your learning reflections in Module 1.
  • Add your details and blog URL to the list of Blogs.
  • Find out more about the educational use of blogs.
  • Learn how teachers use Twitter in the classroom.
  • Create a blog entry about your learning experiences in this module.

This Module was a fun one to complete. Our staff created their own professional blogs on the first day of the school year. So far we have used them to record our Professional Action Research and share external Professional Learning.
2 of the Action Research projects focussed on using blogs as online tools to publish work and develop collaboration. It’s been fabulous to watch other teachers embrace the new learnings of their colleagues and exhibit a willingness to incorporate this tool into their teaching practice.

On Monday we held a parent information session to help skill them to engage with our classroom blogs. We had a great turn out of over 20 parents with only one week advance notice! Working with the some of the new parents joining our community in 2014 highlighted that some parents are not going to be active participants on our blogs due to their lack of English. That day I had received an email subscription from the Teacher Challenge on Edublogs with a link to creating a Google Translator widget.  A couple of minutes later and it was added to my class blog.  Now everyone will be able to access the blog in their preferred language.

As for an educational purpose for Google Translator, our students learn Chinese (Mandarin) as their Language Other Than English. One of the simplest ways this could be utilised in a classroom is writing a sentence in English and translating into Chinese and vice versa or alternatively having to explain what a blog post written in English was written about after it has been translated into Chinese.  For some students being able to identify the specific characters that have been learnt will be how they show success and those that have more of a knowledge of Chinese characters would then have an opportunity to showcase their knowledge.

A class blog was something I first started last year as part of the community 4GPS.  This year we first trialled a 5/6 level blog before setting up individual class blogs.  After this step, the community I share with Jacqueline and Elisabetta quickly showed us they were ready for individual blogs and so we are challenging ourselves with maintaining this as it is what they are ready for.

It has been a privilege to watch the growth in students as they have an authentic purpose and audience for their writing, commenting and published work on the blog.  Watching a student check spelling, find alternative vocabulary, write scripts for screencasts, share their knowledge and skills with other classmates and complete “classwork” at home in their own time has demonstrated some of the improvements that blogging has provided.

The Student Blogging Challenge has been a great opportunity to facilitate the set up of a blog and Quadblogging has the potential to set up global connections (hoping for a more active quad this time around!). I’m sure there are other great resources available that I could use.  Do you know of any you could share?

Twitter.

I was first really encouraged to sign up to Twitter when I attended a brilliant day with Alan November.  He opened my eyes to the amazing knowledge that is shared every minute of every day.  As a learner first and foremost, it helps me live out my life-long learning.  There are days I can consume the knowledge out there and other days I feel I am able to contribute.  Feel free to follow me and I’ll follow you back! (Just ignore the horribly out of date profile pic!)

 

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4 thoughts on “Module 2

  1. Hi Rebecca

    Glad my widget post gave you ideas for widgets you could add to your blog! A lot of teachers use Google translator widget to help parents.

    Thanks also for sharing information on the Web 2.0 course you are doing and the approach you are using at your school. You might want to check out Flipboard Magazines. We’re using it with the Student Blooging Challenge and it is a great way to curate and share information in courses like this. You’ll find links to our Flipboard magazines on the Student Challenge blog.

    I noticed some of the examples of class and student blogs in the Web 2.0 course relating to blogging are old. Feel free to pass my contact details onto the course coordinators if they are interested in newer examples.

    Sue
    @suewaters

    • Hi Sue,

      Thanks for the feedback. I love the resources available to us through Edublogs, particularly the Teacher and Student Blogging Challenges.

      The widget post arrived just in time for our Web2.0 weekly session and it worked in perfectly for our focus on blogging.

      I will pass on your details to the coordinators so they can contact you should they choose to take up your generous offer of providing some updated examples. Alternatively, I would be grateful if you were able to provide some to me so that I could use them with the staff I am working with at school to assist their skill development.

      Regards,

      Rebecca

  2. Hi Rebecca

    Glad you find both of the Challenges help! Our Pinterest account is probably the best place to monitor for new examples – http://www.pinterest.com/edublogs/boards/ As I find new class blogs that are good examples I’m adding to our Class board ( http://www.pinterest.com/edublogs/examples-of-class-blogs/ ).

    We’re had some really unique ones lately that I haven’t been able to share because they are private blogs 🙁

    I’m assuming your students are primary? There are slight differences in approaches with primary vs secondary.

    • Hi Sue,

      Thanks for the quick response. What a great use of Pinterest! I’ve just followed all of the Edublogs boards, the resources available are fabulous. It might be frustrating being unable to share some of the wonderful work that is happening on private blogs.

      Our students are primary students. We now have most classes involved in blogging in some way this year.

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