Taken from a painting of Kapiti Island at Sunset.
by Sonia Savage.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Memoirs of my Class Blog.

My Class Blog
I began my class blog at the beginning of 2009 with Edublogs. It was a steep learning curve for me. Each evening I poured over Edublog video tutorials and written guides. I signed up for the class Edublogs challenge in March of 2009.  This was a great choice as I learned from what others were doing, and I could ask questions of other people.

In the beginning, I had wanted to blog for two major reasons.  A) To communicate with parents and to share with them some of the things we were doing in the classroom. B) To have a place to publish writing the students were doing.  I signed up the students as users on the blog and they were able to log on from home and draft posts.  I soon found C) To locate resources in a central area, another reason to blog.

As 2009 developed I began to see that blogging was also connecting our class to other classrooms around the globe.  This was still low key, as we built up our skills, but it was great.  I found a few class blogs in New Zealand and I unashamedly scrolled their blogs for ideas and to  find out what we could do.  We tried a little pod-casting as well.  In about October 2009 I set some of the students up with their own blogs.

In 2010 I still had many of the same students in the class, I used the students who had already set up blogs to set up more students with blogs.  Now that meant the class blog changed somewhat.  Its main role became more a place where I alerted students to new tools, I alsol continued to share things so that parents could have a window in.  2010 saw far more interaction with other classes through blogs.  We connected with a class in Israel, which was both interesting and exciting.  We skyped with a class in Australia. We continued to take part in the Edublogs challenges.  I was able to use other class blogs to teach and discuss. A case in point was the commenting video that Mrs Yollis' class made.  As we saw quality work such as this video coming from other classes I wanted to involve students more. I began to develop video making skills with them.

2011 has dawned and again I am in the process of setting up students with their blogs.  I now present homework on  a page on the blog.  This year I want to involve the students in making quality videos, to mainly share with their parents what they are learning.  These will be shared on the class blog.  Students no longer post on the class blog, they have their own.  However I share the best of the week on the class blog. My google reader feed also shows on the class blog showing the latest student posts.  We are taking part in the Edublogs challenge again. I will probably use more polls on my blog this year.  Part of the class blog is that the journey keeps on going, and change happens!


  1. Thanks for the great ideas. My students all have their own blogs, so highlighting a post of the week would really be helpful in showcasing great posts.

  2. Janelle
    Yes I agree. I have done it irregularly up to now, but I am going to try to it once a week or fortnight.

  3. Hi Kathryn,

    Sounds great. All you've done and plan to do. I'm glad you've had experience connecting with other classes. Keep it up.


  4. Thanks for sharing the memoirs of your class blog. I like the way that you constantly sought out ways of adding to the effectiveness of your blog.
    It takes time to work out the direction of a blog, but as time passes and networking increases, as you say: "Change happens". Hope to see you at Tech Talk Tuesdays next week. On the Wed night at 8pm Melbourne Aus time, we also have Sue Wyatt presenting on the student blogging challenge. That will be recorded if you can not make it live.

  5. I love the idea of highlighting the post of the week. I work with adults in Mexico in professional development, training to prepare for a TKT exam by Cambridge. There are veteran and new students alike in my classes. However, the common denominator is big...out of 75 trainees in three groups, only two have ever had a blog before. This is quite common: Mexico is not a culture that promotes reading and writing (alas!) so blogging and using online tools is new to many people. Most English as a foreing language classes are taught in the traditional 'stand and deliver' method.

    We just started this semester this past week, and the trainees are challenged and excited. I will use your great idea, I think it will be very motivating. That fact that knowing people will see them post in their second language is also quite motivating for them to practice proofreading. Please visit: http:teachingknowledge.wordpress.com

  6. Murcha
    I most certainly will be at the techtalk on Tuesday and I am bringing a colleague!!

    Teaching Knowledge I look forward to visiting your blog. It must be difficult for your students with a second language to master. I must call in and am looking forward to doing that.

  7. Kathryn, I learned a lot from this post. Thanks for sharing. My students, too, have their own blogs. I'm going to try two ideas--linking my Google Reader so their posts show up and highlighting some of the best of their blog posts on our class blog.
    So much to learn! Thanks, Denise
    My own blog - Dare to Care
    Class - Krebs' Class Blogs

  8. Thanks for taking us on your path to successful blogging. I love the idea of highlighting a blog a week; we won't have our own blogs yet, but I could highlight a student comment or student post until we do. I'm interested in using the Google Reader when we get our own blogs. I googled Tech Talk Tuesdays, but I'm still in yesterday and it's over. :) I know it must have been grand!

    My blogs are here:
    What Else Teacher Blog to Students
    Class Blog

  9. Sheri
    And anyone else the link to the techtalk replay can be picket up at Linda Yollis' blog. It was an excellent talk. Techtalk by Linda


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