When I found out that I would have a class of my own this year I revisited the thought of having my students blog as a showcase of their learning.
This was my vision….
And while we have created our blogs, customized their look and made a few entries I feel that we have not made an effective use of the blog.
So today we reflected on my vision and refocused ourselves. Next setting personal goals for blogging, writing and tweeting out what we share!
on what you say? Blogging! Over the summer I had read many articles discussing the successes teachers were having with blogging in their classrooms. So, I started the year with a plan to have my students keep a blog that would serve as a place to share their learning journey throughout the subjects, a digital portfolio of sorts. I knew that this would be a challenge much like the shift in learning that they would experience here at Countryside Village.
Looking back at the first severals weeks of the school year, I introduced the idea of blogging, many students had that look of shock. I guess it may have been the fact that they had never blogged before. Some showed signs of interest. We started by exploring the Edublogs dahsboard to get familiar with the interface that we would use for blogging. Some students explored the App for their device. Many students were interested in customizing the look of their blog. With the 100’s of themes, every students had the chance to put their own mark on the blog that they would keep. From there we began the customization that would help keep our blogs organized. We set up categories and a menu structure for their main page. This would serve the purpose of keep entries with common threads connected and in one place. (I will be posting videos to my YouTube channel showing the steps taken to complete this setup). Once this was done, we were essentially ready to begin writing or so I thought we were. Where would we start? Something random? Something with a purpose? After a little thought, I had the class start with a Bio page, a place for future blog followers to get to know the author, the learner that would be sharing their window into our classroom. Within a few days, the Bios began popping up in my dash and on the student sites. From a few sentences long to paragraphs, the students began sharing a little about themselves. We had made the leap. The students were now blogging. The next step, another post! Topic, unknown!
To hear more about our adventure in blogging check back for future posts about our progress.
When I set out on the blogging journey, I feared one thing, a stagnant blog. This fear was probably the one thing that kept me from blogging in the first place, that and knowing what to share with the greater blogging world that was out there. There was always the time, but it was dedicating the time or choosing to write a blog first before something else that could take priority. For years, everything else was a priority, the blog was just a thought. But like an earlier post on this blog that I have started, I came to realize that sharing and reflecting on my practices as a teacher is important professionally. I write tonight because it has been a couple weeks without a post and that fear of stagnation is real, that and I ask my students to blog 5 of 7 nights every week, reflecting on what they learned each day in school, discussing their genius projects, sharing what they have recently read or just sharing random thoughts they have that they are willing to put out to random readers from where ever they will come from and well I am not modelling what I am expecting from them. Now, yes I could probably throw out a few reasons for my lack of contribution to my blog but I often find myself at 11:30 or 12 asking the simple question, “where does the time go?”
So, I ask those that may read this post, do you have dedicated time for blogging? Or do you write when the thoughts come to mind? Do you start a post and leave it in limbo as a draft? Or immediately publish what you write?