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 Environment – preliminary 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