Happily Blogging @Belmore South – 3 Key Ideas/Activities

Kim Pericles, Assistant Principal at Belmore South Public School NSW, shares success stories of using blogs as an engaging teaching and learning tool with her Years 4-6 classroom allstars.edublogs.org:

  • Quality Learning Environmentpreliminary work with blogging. 
    Explicit quality criteria, high expectations and student direction are enhanced through discussion and negotiation with students so that the class can set high quality guidelines for class and personal blogs.  The class views a variety of class and individual blogs (including posts and aesthetics) before formulating a negotiated set of guidelines for the class blog, which include “blogging rules, topic guidelines, editing requisites, good commenting guides, and reflective openers.” (p. 5)  Students can then check and edit their work against the criteria and allows them to identify an individual area of weakness.
  • Interactive nature of blogs –  “The most powerful part of blogging is the opportunity to comment on what you have read on a blog.  This opens up conversations and communication between the author and the audience and also demonstrates that learning does not stop at the door of the classroom.”  Kim Pericles’ class has had over 13,000 visitors from all over the world to their blog!  The class has a world map in the corner of their blog to see where their visitors come from. Visitors are automatically plotted on the freely available ClustrMap.
  • Activities to share : the class adds photos, videos, animations and cartoons to their blog to enable sharing of classroom activities to family, friends, and classes around the world – science experiments, class play, reports on excursions, books read, periods in history, debating results, athletics carnivals, artworks, and even a global “Voices in the World” blogging project containing a multi media presentation with singing, dancing, artworks and music.

Query how the privacy of the students is maintained with such a wide audience and how this restricts the content of the class blog.  Is there a way to monitor the privacy settings of these blogs?  is it connected to schools only?


Pericles, K. (2008). Happily blogging @ Belmore South. SCAN, 27(2), 4-6



My Scoop It Site

My Scoop It Site



Stage 3 HSIE Cultures CUS3.3

Welcome to my Scoop It Site that I set up for my HSIE assignment last year!


Write a brief description/ review of the show and comment on what this means for teaching kids about internet and media content at school.

This is a clip of The Media Show, which is presented by two puppets, and is described as a “green episode” – as “everyone is green to get noticed these days” .    It appears to build on a prior episode on branding, and demonstrates how companies can present themselves through their marketing schemes as “green” by using images (such as an advertisement with happy babies in a car at a “gas” station, green colours) without any supporting facts.  The puppets talk about the seven sins of “greenwashing” and how easy it would be to look “green” on their show with a green screen and pictures.  The episode concludes that “it is easy to look sustainable but you can’t hide the truth”, and invites us to look at http://www.greenerchoices.org to see what product labels such as “free range” and “all natural” really mean.

Using a clip like this for students to better understand internet and media content would require an initial introduction and explanation of some likely unfamiliar terms used in the clip, for example “green”, “greenwashing” (see definition below), “gas station”, “marketing scheme”, “branding”, “EPA”, “sustainable”, and “product labels”.   It appears to build on an earlier episode on branding, which would help with better understanding some of the marketing content.   The visual presentation of this subject is effective in helping students to understand the power of marketing discussed in this episode – such as lights being off,  screen turning green, the images in the advertisement.  Some of the images may be disturbing however – such as “birdies ground up in wind turbines” and would only suit older children.  I think that, with adequate explanation of the content and tied in with the earlier branding episode, this clip would be a good teaching resource for internet/media content.





New Literacies

New Literacies build upon old literacies (that is, print literacy).  See Jon Callow Prezi http://prezi.com/-_ali4xyxc3s/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

The term is used synonymously with various types of literacies:  information, digital, digital media, critical, and visual literacies.  In education, the term is often linked to advances in technology, and can be heralded as changing the way teachers teach and students learn.   This view appears to be mistaken as the key is how to use technology appropriately rather than technology being the key to great teaching.

New literacies is a term often used in the field of education, particularly in literacy studies, for various digital literacy practices. A key concept here is that literacy is no longer a stable entity, but rather something that is continuously transforming.  See Houtman, E. (2013), cited below.

So what was considered a new literacy yesterday may not be new today – what’s new today may not be so new tomorrow – Lankshear and Knobel (2011) interpret this to mean a combination of “new technical stuff” and “new ethos stuff”, new mindset and new values (more collaborative and less individual) (p.28) rather than in the context of the latest fad.

New “ethos stuff” also encompasses new skills or fluencies, such as Henry Jenkins’  (2006)  (cited by Houtman, E. (2013)) list of the social skills needed within a participatory culture, which are developed through collaboration and networking.

Houtman, E. (2013). New literacies, learning, and libraries: How can frameworks from other fields help us think about the issues? In the Library with the Lead Pipe.  Retrieved fromhttp://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2013/new-literacies-learning-and-libraries-how-can-frameworks-from-other-fields-help-us-think-about-the-issues/ Accessed February 14th, 2014

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2012). ‘New’literacies: technologies and values. Teknokultura. Revista de Cultura Digital y Movimientos Sociales, 9(1), 45-71.  Retrieved from http://everydayliteracies.net/files/RemixTeknokulturaEnglish.pdf Accessed February, 2014
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Looking forward to learning more about Digital Media in the Classroom.  

Thursday 9-11am Class.