Update: Due to a new Acceptable Use Policy at my school, the Views From the 3rd Floor (my classroom blog) must be password protected. Although I'm frustrated
that I won't be able to make new connections with teachers and
classrooms as easily, I realize that this is just the beginning of a
process. We are learning how to build online communities, protect students, reassure parents, and integrate technology in ways that
follow best practices. It's a complicated new world of
learning and teaching and it's hard to keep up!
Originally posted on October 24, 2007: This year I made it my goal to start a blog with my second graders. After a summer of research, I consulted with Anne Davis and she directed me to some wonderful resources, including her Rationale for Educational Blogging and some examples of elementary blogs. It also helped that my school was beginning to use WordPress MU (multiple-user) as a blogging platform. It allows me to moderate comments and gives me some creativity with design and layout.
We're off to a great start. I began by posting questions to extended the work we were already doing in the classroom and invited children to make comments from home. Luckily our year began with a study of the monarch migration to Mexico using the site Journey North and many of the questions and ideas came directly from their resources.
The children have been eager and enthusiastic from the beginning. One boy even told his mom that he couldn't wait to post a "compliment!" I've now started posting student work. There is a sense of pride and excitement as children see their work show up on the screen. Suddenly, they're famous! Parents also look forward to the chance to participate in their child's learning and their comments are eagerly awaited by every child.
On our blog, the kids do not have their own pages. I may tackle that next year. The next step is to get them to collaborate and write their own posts. We've also connected to many other classrooms around the country and world.
Rachel Boyd, a primary teacher from New Zealand, has put together a simple and wonderful video entitled, Why Let Our Students Blog? I can't wait to see what other ways this tool can enrich my teaching and the learning experiences of my students. We've only just started! Here's our classroom blog, Views From the 3rd Floor. What do you think?