Class blogging – 4 months in

It’s been just over 4 months since I started blogging with my class and I wanted to reflect a little on how it’s going so far.

I decided to start blogging with my new class after being inspired by others on twitter, namely David Mitchell of Heathfield Primary School, and the success that I’d seen them have with it.

I set up a basic blog to start with, as that’s what this blog is on and I am familiar with the way it works. My main aims for the blog were to inspire the children to want to learn through it, share our work with parents and families and also to develop a wider audience for the children to interact with. Once I’d mentioned to my Headteacher the idea of blogging things got a whole lot bigger as he loved the idea and wanted one too (plus one for all the other classes) so he got in contact with Peter Ford who set us up with a WordPress multi-user site under our own domain, which means we can add as many blogs and users as we wish.

How I’ve been using our class blog:

So far, I’ve mainly used the blog to share links for the children to use at home and school, to share our weekly homework with the parents and to share what we’ve been up to in class recently. We’ve also posted things that require a bit more interaction, such as questionnaires, and I’ve tweeted these to get more responses.

Right from the start of using the blog most of the children seemed very interested but there are a few who stated that they wouldn’t be allowed on it at home or wouldn’t bother, which was obviously a little disappointing. I think this is slowly changing as I continue to use it and the children have realised they can find links some of the games we use in class but I know not all of the parents are engaging with it. On the other hand, I’ve also had some great comments from some of the parents (in person, not on the blogs!) about how useful they find it. I suppose it’s good that some parents are being engaged by it, if not all. In order to increase engagement (particularly by commenting) my Headteacher is currently bribing children with star points for every comment they or their parents make 🙂

What next?

I don’t just want our blog to be about me writing things to the children and parents though. I want the children to start taking ownership, starting to do some of the writing and posting themselves, as I think this would have a real benefit to their writing, ICT skills and also their self-esteem. In fact, I’ve just thought that maybe I’ll set up a team of blog reporters to start it off and get it running.

Another thing I would like to get going is to get all the teachers blogging; our reception teacher has taken to it fantastically and the reception parents are regularly checking in and leaving comments but the year 1, 2 and 3 blogs are severely lacking, which is a real shame for both the children and the parents. I’m getting sick of hearing the excuse that it takes too long and they don’t have time but not really sure how to get round that yet. They’ve been shown how to post things and told they can email things to me/HT to put up but as yet nothing has materialised 😦 I’ll keep my fingers crossed that over time they will gradually start to use their blogs more so they can reach their full potential.

Hopefully our blogs will really start to take off in 2011 and really start to be integrated into the learning more.

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