At Park Manor PS, every student is blogging in at least one class and sometimes two of them. Our school is a pilot school for our Board with respect to blogging. During our pilot, the Board’s IT department has been very helpful in solving problems and helping us meet our needs. Initially, we were going to set up one blog per teacher, so that a they would have their own blog and administer it themselves. However, each teacher would then need to invite every student they want on the blog. This becomes inefficient when a teacher teaches 260 students and there may be several teachers in the same boat. Luckily, our board web designer created a school blog where every student was bulk added to the blog. Now, teachers can use the school blog by posting using a category with their name and sub-category. I like the idea of both blogs, as a teacher blog allows them to design and create their own Web 2.0 instructional space, while a school blog makes it easy for teachers to start blogging and also helps create a school community Web 2.0 space. I think both options are excellent and I will be evaluating both of them.
Here is a list of things I think need to happen before we go live at the Board level.
- An administrator or computer teacher, needs to be able to add staff and students to a blog or a clear and efficient system at the Board level.
- An administrator or computer teacher, needs to be able to add students to the email system or a clear and efficient system at the Board level.
- Like our awesome website platform on Waterworks, we may need to have common templates that make it easy for schools to start blogging. For example, I am learning a number key things to have on your blog homepage that makes it easy for teachers and students.
- A mechanism to build capacity from the senior administration level all the way down to the classroom.
- Action research on the benefits of students, classrooms and whole schools blogging.
- Resources to help schools use blogging to build digital citizenship in our school communities.
- Training for administrators and teachers on how to set up a blog, and then to use it to improve learning for all students.
More will come on this topic as I continue to learn.