Session One: Blogs

What is a blog?

I have created a blog for each of our teaching teams and I hope that each week one class will take responsibility for making a post on their team blog to share with our community what our students have been doing. Having a blog gives our students a real audience. Over time we will get regular readers that will enjoy seeing what we are up to, they will hopefully leave comments and this will encourage the students to think critically about what they post, ensuring that they are communicating clearly. If you can send an email with an attachment then you can blog, it really is very easy. We aim to start out small, by inserting images and writing posts, when we get confident we can add slideshows, moving images, voicethreads and more!

Three NZ educators that I have enjoyed learning about blogs may provide you with some inspiration too.
1) Rachel Boyd has made notes on blogging and how to blog and this information can be found on her wikispace by clicking here.
I also recommend that you take the time to watch her presentations that have been done for conferences, not only are there reflections on that link from the children but also slideshare presentations to inspire you further. Through viewing Rachel's wiki and watching the presentations, she answers a lot of questions about why blogging is beneficial for our students.
2) Also from the Nelson region is Allanah King and she has loads of useful "how to do" things on her blog "bling for your blog" which also uses Blogger.com, I suggest you browse down the right hand column and just click on what you would like to learn. Allanah's blog focusses on setting up a blog using Blogger. Once you feel confident posting to your team blog, you may wish to start a class blog of your own.
3) Lenva Shearing has developed another useful blog called "Cogs for Blogs". Lenva's blog has more web2.0 applications featured and how to embed these into your blog. Lenva is from a local intermediate school and leads an ICT PD cluster.

Our team blogs have been set up using a Google application called Blogger.
http://phsjuniornews.blogspot.com is our team blog for Year 1/2 (5-7 yr olds)
http://phsmiddlenews.blogspot.com is our team blog for Year 3/4 (7-9 yr olds)
http://phsseniornews.blogspot.com is our team blog for Year 5/6 (9-11yr olds)

Here is the handout on how to login to your team blog:
Here is Rachel Boyd's page on how to write a post:
If you are keen to start looking at some classroom blogs to get ideas, I have many saved in my Delicious Account that you can view by clicking here. I really love this teacher reflection by Helen Rennie-Younger about the effect of having a blog space to build the home/school partnership by this teacher from the North Shore of Auckland, she has won a year off her class to be an e-fellow this year.