Session 65 – Thursday 29th September 2011

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Session Title:

What is the educational value of blogs, wikis and class/school websites?

Session Summary:

Wow… what a fast and furious end to September as the #ukedchat masses discussed all things bloggery!

There are a number of key #ukedchat contributors who have long advocated blogging as a tool for good. In this week’s discussion, they had a chance to convert the rest of us… and believe me, I think it worked!

People spoke overwhelmingly positively about the potential for blogs to offer pupils an audience for their writing, however it soon became clear that blogs can be used in so many different ways and have many different purposes and goals.

We discussed safety and workload concerns, how to use blogs to promote literacy and parental engagement and how blogging can improve pupils’ self-esteem. The doubters (of which I suppose I was one, having not really yet embraced blogging as a class tool…) were very quickly silenced as more and more educators tweeted about the positive impact blogging has had.

I can honestly say that this week’s #ukedchat discussion has given me so much inspiration. In fact, I’m now working on a plan to change my KS3 writers club into a blogging club!

There were 1,150 tweets from 185 contributors. I would really recommend you check out the archive to get a real sense of the passion and enthusiasm there is out there for blogging. In the mean time, see below for some of the key messages.

Most importantly though, there were numerous class and school/department blogs shared, and a list has been compiled. Please visit as many of the blogs as possible and, where appropriate, comment on the posts; as we learned in the discussion, feedback from their new global audience is really valued by the student bloggers.

Notable Tweets from the Session:

There were some useful tips for bloggers:

@myhanhdoan: Write regularly and label posts clearly

@TESConnect: My top tips for successful blogging are 1) write regularly 2) write as you talk 3) don’t be scared to have an opinion

@SirBlimelyWindy: #ukedchat never blog anything that mightbring the name of your school into disrepute – I’d offer that from a union viewpoint

@jackieschneider: Images/photos & audio clips are really important in creating interesting blogs

@jacksloan: My top tips for kids blogging 1)Comment often and crtitically 2)make sure kids comment often and critically

@jamesmichie: Put blogs on school website. Promo at parents evenings – run demos in rooms, parents can pop in 2 find out more

@jacksloan: We open our ICT suite every playtime and lunchtime forkids without internet at home. Always full of bloggers.

@JOHNSAYERS: I’m getting all Y12-13 to create a blog portfolio of their work so theycan add to their UCAS apps for unis to see capabilities

@HGJohn: Check out @DeputyMitchell @raff31 @jacksloan 3of the best educational bloggers in the world

@nickynewbury: @deputymitchell ‘s Quadblogging phenomenon is brilliant, purpose,audience, peer assessment etc inspirational

The following tweets are reasons to blog or why blogging has proved beneficial:

@Cherise_Duxbury: blogging like twitter has certainly empowered me as a teacher AND as a learner

@bevevans22: Too often VLEs, blogs &wikis get a bad press. Used properly they are all beneficial ineducational contexts

@JamiePortman: #ukedchat Blogging is brave. Putting yourthoughts & reflections into the public domain takes guts. But theysay fortune favours the brave!

@MrsPrentice11: After a year of blogging myclass saw themselves as ‘writers’ #ukedchat ,now that’s an achievement

@anhalf: blogging has raised the chns self esteem,made them proud, shared ideas.As a teacher- morereflective and open-minded

@Stephen_Logan: Great opportunity for student to write to a potential globalaudience that enhances their learning and gets them reflecting

@nickynewbury: Improved parental involvement, wideraudience, greater opportunities for communicating with a new city,country, continent

@DeputyMitchell: When #ukedchat is over, take a look at this 2min video http://t.co/X7aGsEip What Blogging means to my pupils

@JOHNSAYERS: How many of us have found a shy studentscared to present in a class. Then they blog and they come out of their shell and WOW!

@eyebeams: Blogs are spaces to reflect in -they aid thinking – they model stuff – they are neural glue

@bevevans22: Blogs have so many uses in an educational context. They can be a place for learning, sharing and reflection


Tweets of the week

So, in a tweet-sized nutshell, why blog?

@petestuart: Our classblog is a homework portal, pupil diary andwork sharing platform, its a great way for pupils to find their digital feet!

@jamesmichie: #ukedchat blog to embed meta-conitive skills in student learning as well as fostering critical engagement through public comments/assessment

and if nothing else has convinced you, then this should:

@DeputyMitchell: I loved it when pupil in my class said to me”I’ve Got it!! Can I tell everyone about it?’ Yes I said. “Not the class -The world”

Links shared During the Session:

About Your Host

I’m an English teacher in Liverpool and I absolutely love my job! I’ve been using twitter as CPD for about a year or so now and it’s great. Being involved in #ukedchat has given me some fantastic contacts and a constant (and very generous!) source of inspiration.

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