Part of my work, at my school, is to create a framework for our Middle School that will take (already) blogging students from Elementary School and prepare a smooth transition for them, as they move on to High School.
I am looking BEYOND the one classroom or one specific teacher blogging with their students.
As you might have been able to tell due to the increasing blog posts about blogging, my mind is swirling around:
- making the difference evident for faculty to see blogging as MORE than a technology integration project but a platform for learning
- making Blogging Visible to educators who are not familiar with blogging for their own learning
- share best practices and going Beyond Pockets of Excellence in Blogging
- putting support structures into place for teachers to start their individual learning journeys. From creating infographics of Visible Thinking Routines for Blogging to Workshops offered to 1:1 coaching sessions
- seeing and documenting pockets of blogging here and there, demonstrating different layers and stages in a blogging journey: Blogging as the Official Scribe of the Classroom
Currently, we are in year 1 of implementing blogging across 6th, 7th and 8th grade. All students have their own blogfolios, these portfolios started out with being used to house artifacts and reflections to be shared with their parents during student led conferences (SLC). The idea though was/is to make blogging a platform for writing (in digital spaces) , feedback, conversation, (global) connections and a hub for personal learning. How do we accomplish that not only in individual classrooms or for one individual teacher, but division and eventually school wide?
Below are some doodle notes (testing out… practicing sketchnoting…having trouble with illustrations)
When several grade levels are moving towards a blogging platform (at the same time), it is hard to develop a scope and sequence for blogging as a tool. I might have the same expectations for 6th graders in their first year of blogging as I would have for the 8th graders. They are writing, commenting, connecting, communication in different media forms and exhibiting the same rules of digital citizenship. Will they all work on the same kinds of “blogging” skills at the same time? How will addressing these skills shift, as we enter year 2, year 3 of implementation? What will happen to new students who come to your school from a non-blogging school? How will we support them?
Here are a few more questions and thoughts I have about STRATEGICALLY implementing a division (school wide) blogging platform:
I am trying to making the connections between blogging and pedagogy, modern literacies and standards and core values (character traits, etc.) evident.
I am trying to adapt the SAMR model to take blogs as a technology tool that substitutes traditional tasks to a platform that transforms teaching and learning (watch for future blog posts about examples of blogging at different stages of the SAMR mode)
Another aspect of using blogs with students is being addressed by Stephen Downes , who articulates the need to teach students the skills to store, manage and enable access to their work online. How can we best support students to NOT SIMPLY create a digital footprint, but do so strategically and know how to manage their work.
What will be the best way to create a consistent label/category system? One that will facilitate evidence of growth/learning over an extended period of time and FOR assessment?
For the ones that need reassurance, that they meet standards (in whatever subject area), it might be a good idea to make an upgrade by blogging visible. Are the standards addressed and can be assessed via blogging?
Below you will find a sample of ICT standards addressed by upgrading a traditional book report beyond using substitution of merely copying/pasting text onto a blog.
I have laid out my thoughts, ideas, and question of HOW to go BEYOND pockets of individual classrooms and students with one particular teacher or grade level blogging.
- How can we create a framework that is sustainable across a division or entire school (K-12)?
- What are expectations of students in different age groups?
- What are expectations of teachers to make this a COLLABORATIVE way of learning through blogging at a school or district?
- How do we connect divisions, subject areas and grade levels to make LONG TERM benefits evident?
Who is willing to connect with me, as they are working on the same kinds of implementation questions beyond one classroom?