Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Teacher Blogging Challenge 1.
Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because for a number of years I had wanted to publish student work on line. Eventually I decided blogging would do that for me. I explored blogging a little and set up an edublog during our summer break in January 2009.
So how did that go?
Well it was a very steep learning curve setting up that blog. There was no one at my school who blogged, nor anyone that I knew anywhere. I spent hours reading edublogs tips etc! Each time I mastered something I felt really good. When I noticed a challenge in March 2009 I joined it and sort of did it. I began to learn about widgets etc. I can remember the first time I tried to put in a pet widget, I spent hours! Eventually I found a post on a student's blog from Miss W's class that gave the instructions in enough detail for me to be successful. I blush now to admit how hard it was. Now my students do it in a blink of an eye. I began to want to add videos. Again that was a steep learning curve, as I tried out Windows Movie Maker. I got there. I am someone who perseveres!
What was your most exciting moment?
I am not sure of this one, there were many mini exciting moments! First of all the pride in mastering each new step. However as the first challenge went on, it was things such as making contact with teachers in other countries. Learning from them. Last year I got a huge buzz out of the fact I could show Mrs Yollis' video on commenting to my class. While I had started blogging initially to showcase my students' writing, I now realized that blogging opened me and my classroom up to the world.
Any other stand out moments?
We have been able to keep in contact with students who went to Australia, to Washington DC and now one is going to Tonga. They all went because of Dad's jobs. These students have kept in contact through the blog and a little skypeing!
What motivates me to blog?
I have a belief in it. It has come from myself, no one else has said do it. I like it. I don't post so often on this my teacher blog. However I intend to remedy that this year. Up until now much of my time has gone into the classroom blog and student blogging. Now I have a team of students who can help others so now I am free to pursue my own interests!
So what next?
In 2011 I intend continuing the class blog, and setting up new students with their own blogs. For this blog I want to track my development of my writing and reading programmes in my classroom. I also want to make some videos for my classroom blog to share with parents about our learning in Maths, Reading and Writing. And talking about parents. Well I would really like to try and get them interacting more with the class blog. I had about 3 interacting last year. I want to up that!
What advice do I have for teachers beginning to blog?
Get in there and do it. Ask for help. I would ask around when I began, on other teacher's blogs. Mostly I got answers. Occasionally I didn't. Learn as you go. You don't have to do it perfectly. There are still things I don't get perfectly, but from others you eventually pick it up. One such instance for me was attribution of pictures. Thanks Miss W. who did a great job there, educating us. The other word of advice is read other class blogs. That is another place I learned. Oh, they can do that? So I can too! Be a copy cat! Kids get so upset when others copy them! I see it as a way to learn. Of course I am not talking about out and out copying word for word. But getting ideas.
What am I most proud of?
My student blogs! Some of them have taken blogging to a higher level than myself! I think of Teegan who entered my class after the middle of the year. She took to blogging like a duck to water, it was a joy to behold. Some of them haven't got that far! It's okay. I am still reflecting on boundaries for my students with blogging. I want it to be their own, where they make most of the choices. However I also recognise it is a student blog and they have certain responsibilities and tasks to accomplish. I am still working on that one. Also some of them get their blogs so full of bling that it is overkill. My pet hate on my students' blogs? Sounds that keep going when you arrive on the blog. I HATE THAT!
So what is your pet hate?