I am no longer, as of October 2008 working as a class teacher at Sandaig, so have moved this blog to another server. If you want to comment on this post, pleas search for it there.
Last week at elive I was talking about blogging in the classroom as an extension of normal classroom practice and showing examples of things we have done with blogging over the last few years. A few questions there and an email asking for blogging advice today has started me thinking about how to get started with blogging in the classroom. There seems to be plenty of technical howtos available (I've written a couple myself) and plenty of the 'this is what we do' sort of stuff I was talking about at eLive but there is a wee bit in the middle that is lacking. At eLive I briefly covered some of the classroom organisation I've found successful and there are many more ideas over at the classroom blogging wiki's Classroom organisation pages. The thing I think is missing is some sort of progression and timetable.
The lack of guidance (as far as I know) might be why there are so many blogs that are started and then fade away. People get false expectations, run into technical problems or do not get the results they expect from children.
So here is a step by step approach to blogging that might be of use to teachers:
This is quite a time consuming process, the more time spent in the early stages the easier the later ones will become.
Caveat: this information is based on the path I've taken over the last four years with some mistakes removed. I didn't have a plan and I am in no way finished.
I make no guarantees and holds no responsibility for any addition to the internet or loss of leisure time that may result following these instructions.
!BLOG AT YOUR OWN RISK!
So take these instruction with a pinch of salt, I've seldom been quoted but this is my favourite, thanks to Peter Ford from Communicate06.
I hope to be able to direct people t othis post when they ask me how to start blogging as part of the answer. Please augment, criticise and improve in the comments.
Picture Credit: pair with laptop from Be Very Afraid - Be Very Afraid 3 - Photo Gallery 5 used with permission.
Excellent post, borne purely of experience. I’m doing a wee bit on ‘blogging as reflection’ at the Chartered Teacher conference in Edinburgh next week, and I’ll direct attendees to this post if they want a quick-and-easy ‘punty-up’ (at del.iciou.us/dafc1885/CT07).
David Noble (Email) (URL) - 27 05 07 - 20:39
Yes I would have welcomed this when I first started. I still feel that I am trying things out and the blog is still morphing into something that I want it to be. Not quite sure what that is yet! However, if nothing else, it is a great record of some of the things that we have done as a class this year! Next session I might come back to your post and plan a wee bit more carefully.
Shirley (Email) (URL) - 29 05 07 - 22:21
Thanks for this John. I get so much help through Scotedublogs for setting up the blog on our site. One young person I’m working with is particularly keen on blogging, and also on having explicit rules about what is and isn’t allowed (he often finds that other people have a problem with what he likes and wants to talk about). I’ve done general rules, but am also, at his request, working on more detail about words that can and can’t be used. This is hard!
I leave it open to the young people to decide what to blog about. This has its benefits, but also means the blog may feel a bit ‘directionless’ at times. Feel I’m at the start of a long and interesting journey…
Katy MacDougall (Email) (URL) - 01 06 07 - 12:36
Thanks for this post – I’ve certainly learned loads from reading ‘a mixture of pupil and professional/teacher blogs’. I had a comment on our class blog recently from someone in Australia who is studying a masters degree. She posed some interesting questions about educational blogging – some for a teacher, some for pupils. We tried our best to answer them (I’ve added to my original comment to cater for a more ‘local’ audience – the pupils’ response are original).
The link is below
margaret vass (Email) (URL) - 01 06 07 - 19:55
I’m a fourth year B Ed student at Jordanhill, about to embark on a major project concerning the influence blogging and podcasting can have in enhancing language. This info will be extremely valuable to me in my research and implementation of my project. We all love the Sandaig blog in my Computers for Education elective class!
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mepeGroomma (Email) (URL) - 30 03 10 - 10:00
I am no longer, as of October 2008 working as a class teacher at Sandaig, so have moved this blog to another server. If you want to comment on this post, pleas search for it at: http://www.johnjohnston.info/blog.