I felt pleased to be invited to Wellington to present a session on blogging for students and teacher registration. I divided the session into the following sub sections:
- Why publish work to a blog when you are using Google Classroom
- The three way split between students, teachers and parents when work is showcased on a blog
- How blogs can vary across the year levels
- Examples of student blogs
- Teachers’ blogs for TAI and Teacher Registration
- We looked at the conference theme: Connection. Collaboration. Courage.
So this is what we discussed:
- If blogs are used wisely with categories for posts, students will create wonderful digital portfolios. This will make it easy to refer back to published work. Having an authentic audience does mean that students need to proofread very carefully. This differs vastly from the stream of tasks in Google Classroom, useful in itself. But different.
- Blogs provide a link between teachers, students and parents. This is one of the big bonuses to using a combination of Google Classroom and blogs.
- The way we use blogs can vary across year levels. Middle school students can be encouraged to blog about topics that interest them. Media rich posts are very convenient as students can post video and photos directly from their camera roll. Publishing to YouTube is not necessary. NCEA students can be more selective, choosing to password protect certain blog posts. TurnItIn is used to check for authenticity.
- We looked at the differences between the genders with regard to their blogs.
- We spent some time looking at teachers’ blogs. We looked at TAI and Bundles of Evidence. We also looked at the 12 criteria for teacher registration. We spoke about blog-able moments and what evidence could look like. We also spoke about professional readings and reflection to improve practise.
- Finally we looked at the conference theme: Connection. This would be following and reading each others’ blogs. I suggested that teachers look at Twitter to develop their PLG. Collaboration. This could develop across schools, across the country and globally. Courage. We finished with this. It does take courage to encourage students to blog as some teachers do not feel fully confident with the process. Teachers also need to be courageous to put their reflections “out there.” But taking the first step is the best way to move forward. Have faith in students as they are the ones that trouble shoot and figure things out. You then end up with a couple of experts in the room.
Wellington did not disappoint, dishing up some glorious weather for us to enjoy after a well-run conference.