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Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging

March 18, 2013 Blogging, Curriculum, Curriculum 21, Featured Carousel 48 Comments

There are many, many pockets of excellence in classroom/student blogging out there. These blogs are driven, coached and nurtured by educators who “get it”. They get how blogging makes a difference in student learning, supports 21st century modern learning skills and literacies and at the same time basic reading and writing skills. These educators understand blogging FOR their students.

skid

[insert a screeching sound of breaks] …then it STOPS!… Why?

The students move on from those teachers classes to the next grade level or school with a teacher who:

  • has never heard of blogs (hence does not use them)
  • sees blogs as an add on and too much work (Who has time to moderate and comment on so much student writing???)
  • uses blog posts as a digital space to collect typed up homework assignments (Instead of a new writing genre, capable of multi-layers, higher order thinking/writing skills and multi-dimensional)

You can visibly see the engagement, ownership and learning curve when you look at pockets of excellence, such as Linda Yollis’ 2nd/3rd grade blog or Kathy Cassidy’s 1st grade classroom and student blogs.  We can assess the learning taking place of a set of students (during one grade level) with a committed-to-quality-blogging teacher.

What we CAN’T do with pockets of excellence is to track and identify LONG TERM gains in blogging as a LEARNING PLATFORM.

I see how the  Yokahama International Middle School  (Grades 6-8), has laid the foundation with their student blogs for a CONTINUOUS effort to document, reflect and assess their students progress ACROSS time. My current school, Martin J Gottlieb Day School also has an opportunity to implement student blogfolios across ALL grade levels (K-8) and build on skills from year to year. George Couros on The Principal of Change blog wrote in a post titled 5 Reasons your Students Should Blog about his school division and effort to developing blogs as portfolios with their students. They are bringing blogs to approximately 10,000 students!

How are they/we:

  • coordinating efforts across grade levels to help teachers and students BUILD ON  skills (ex. hyperlinked writing)
  • continuing to weave a thread that CONNECTS reflections (ex. self-portraits art pieces with a reflective text/audio/video piece attached)
  • giving evidence of learning at one particular moment in time and show growth ACROSS TIME  (ex. presentation skills, math number sense, gross-motor skills, etc.)

visible-thinking

In an effort to provide a framework for our teachers from Kindergarten to 8th grade, I attempted to make my own thinking visible in regards to our classroom blogs and student blogfolios.

Each page addresses one grade level. I have divided the page into 2 main sections with the following subsections:

  • classroom blog
    1. teacher responsibilities
    2. student responsibilities (on classroom blog)
  • student blogfolios
    1. skills (new skills introduced at particular grade levels are highlighted in yellow)
    2. categories (trying to standardize categories to be used across grade levels. Ex. writing, reading, presentation, Science, Math, etc.)
    3. Reflection (examples of media that could be used to create a reflection in response to learning artifact)
    4. Examples of learning artifacts (Ex. Science fair presentation, About Me page, Self-portrait art work, visible thinking of solving a Math problem, etc.)

This framework was not created to be written in stone, but as a starting point for teachers to refer to, as they students are building skills of writing in digital spaces, become reflective learners and establish a positive digital footprint. It is meant to allow a progression of learning artifacts coupled with reflection paint a picture of each student’s learning journey throughout our school. The framework is to guide teachers in providing a smooth transition from one grade level to another and ensure a continuation AND growth in skills.

Where are other schools who are creating maps for continues use of the blogging framework for learning, reflecting and sharing? Can we put our heads together, as we are tracking and assessing the continued use of blogs FOR learning? Please connect with this blog or via Twitter.

Download the Blogging Framework as a pdf file.

 

 

 

Currently there are "48 comments" on this Article:

  1. New blog post: Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging- http://t.co/9K68J4AwPU

  2. @jackiefrens @JKSuth BLOGGING FRAMEWORKS which are absolutely fantastic for our writers http://t.co/zpo8m6zsYP

  3. This is great. “@langwitches: Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging- http://t.co/JZ8V9nVTSC” #sd36learn

  4. Dan Winters says:

    This is brilliant. I’m opening a new school in July and hiring teachers in May and I promise that my entire staff will join together with you to build on these ideas.

  5. @BuistBunch says:

    Great point. I must build a bridge for my 5th graders as they move to 6th. Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/ZmO0Hv4T3z

  6. Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/vr5lBfVSi1 via @zite #ukedchat #addcym

  7. [...] Thanks to the Langwitches blog, we have the makings for a great discussion of that very question:  http://langwitches.org/blog/2013/03/18/beyond-pockets-of-excellence-in-blogging/ [...]

  8. @gcouros says:

    Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging by @langwitches http://t.co/j0dKQ7yGPA #psd70

  9. Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/3UpgQAvsh5 via @langwitches #isedchat #edchat Excellent read!

  10. @renee_boss says:

    @Cindylp65 this is what I’ve been talking about! @posickj: RT Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/vPaDxbzOuO

  11. Silvia,

    Thanks for always sharing such great resources. These posters and ideas are great tools to help teachers understand what is possible and appropriate at each grade level. At my school, we’ve developed a Technology Continuum for our elementary building which we are using to guide our integration of tech into the classroom. You or your readers can find the continuum and other related documents on my site at http://www.coetail.asia/carriezimmer

    Carrie

  12. @scienceg33k says:

    Perspective & continuity. RT @gcouros Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging by @langwitches http://t.co/Evos1xdlrA #psd70 #rvsed

  13. “@langwitches: New blog post: Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging- http://t.co/lEHtTxNVaQ” This is the goal! Have 2 share the benefits!

  14. [...] Looking for other schools working on a BLOGGING map/continuum across grade levels to track learning/growth over time- langwitches.org/blog/2013/03/1… [...]

  15. Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/xlqJpNcmZk via @zite

  16. @mrsdkrebs says:

    So many new challenges! Thanks, Sylvia! RT @langwitches: New blog post: Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging- http://t.co/WxdIit9dPv

  17. My dream for my students! Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/oRi5il450J

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  20. Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/DtxSp2UzJ2 via @zite #yorkdukes #nebedu

  21. @maggiev Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging  | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/VWTdgRPYcX

  22. @dougpete says:

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  23. Love your blogging framework!”@kathleen_morris: Beyond pockets of excellence in blogging by @langwitches http://t.co/tmvmtVOiFP

  24. Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging  | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/xw21PfiuvM #elearning #qr8-13

  25. @alohateach says:

    @alohateach: @IREC1 where blogs should go next! Excellence in blogging by@langwitches http://t.co/jcicVYPPNz @sahlinvic @hanwcarw @MsGunny

  26. Timely resource for us! @alohateach: Excellence in blogging by@langwitches http://t.co/EVLOLsxQmP @sahlinvic @MsGunny @hanwcarw #irecpd

  27. GREAT- “@JonathanEMartin: Great tips here for student blogging:Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/lqKIQkUD5W” #Cantiague

  28. Gr8 frameworks 2 guide student blogging in Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/z9ugLLcXxy

  29. @kecagle says:

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  30. Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/BXYB1xeX2V via @zite

  31. [...] Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging | Langwitches Blog [...]

  32. Hugh says:

    Powerful must read for all! Thank you for this wonderful & thoughtful post.

    It gives schools & districts a jumping off point that starts a conversation. The conversation must be started and learning must be reflected upon across grade levels by individual students instead of on a year by year basis. Imagine how powerful it is for students to know where they were in writing in grade 4 & compare that with with where they were in grade 7. They can better identify what they learned, how they learned it, and give an explanation themselves as to what they still need to work on and why.

    Teach & model all the literacies & how to use digital media is a skill all learners should know.

    Hugh
    @hughtheteacher

  33. WOW! JUST COMMENTED! “Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging” by @langwitches http://t.co/pX532HMCtF #sd36learn @georgesvanier36 @gallit_z

  34. Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging  | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/FBIyx6S1kt #vsblearns #bclearns

  35. Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging | Langwitches Blog: http://t.co/AgIcyv7JU2

  36. Callie Amond says:

    This blog post has inspired me to use this method at the school I will be teaching at in the future. It’s great because students can look back and actually see the progress their making in their classrooms. I agree that a lot of current teachers are out dated on technology in the classroom, but I am currently an Elementary Education major at the University of South Alabama and I can honestly say our professors are getting us up to date with technology for our future classrooms. This blog is very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  37. @KirstenTP says:

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  38. MT @jackiegerstein8m Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging @langwitches http://t.co/kCWo6dPAzm … #studentblogs #ycsd13 #desplc #ymstags

  39. @gaby13rh says:

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  40. @mschmitz_1 says:

    Great Resource for Blogging! Langwitches Blog | The Magic of Learning http://t.co/IIVdbrb4pS @lpsadmin

  41. @shammanaj says:

    Great insights–> Langwitches Blog-Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/A8f97oS84k

  42. Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging http://t.co/k93i7vjOzN

  43. Great resource for vertical integration of modern literacy skills via @langwitches! http://t.co/EbseRTf3qe

  44. @DJ345 says:

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  47. @MyTLee3 says:

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  48. […] need to “move beyond pockets of excellence in blogging“. I’d like to see more kids start blogging, and I’d like to support their […]

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