Educational Blogging - Listening to @murcha @lindayollis

Linda Yollis' 


How neat! I had the chance to participate in a late (for me) night Elluminate session from Linda Yollis to Australian and New Zealand teachers on Educational Blogging, sharing her experience blogging with students. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the slides so I had to use my imagination as Linda shared her experiences...and I had to leave early since it was getting a bit late for me!

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Here are some of my notes (all errors are mine!):
  1. The classroom blog is an online learning community.
  2. Make the blog a centerpiece of our classroom, bringing all members of the community together.
  3. In 24 years, I've never seen anything as powerful as classroom blogging.
  4. This is the 3rd class I've blogged with.
  5. I teach in a suburb of Los Angeles and have 23 students in my regular education classroom.
  6. I have 3 special education kids, a few gifted kids and everyone in the middle.
  7. A bit about my equipment...in 2005, I wrote a grant and bought Alphasmart computers. These are great for typing.
  8. I have a laptop and two very old eMacs, and access to a computer lab every other week for 45 minutes.
  9. When I started blogging, I had no idea what it was. I saw Gmail, saw that it had blogging platform...thought it would be more like a newsletter style blog.
  10. As I look at myself now, I have changed my approach starting with a reporting style and now I take a teaching approach. Lots of digital images, vocabulary and try to get students and parents involved.
  11. If you look, this our very first comment that....
  12. What makes for a good comment? We kinda started with a brainstorming session.
  13. As a class, we looked at blog comments and decided as a class what to reject or keep. They had pretty high standards...I pointed out to them we're all learning, trying to become better writers. We're going to shoot high with our comments, we can't reject our readers...it's a process.
  14. I started devoting 15-30 minutes per day with blogging. At first, it was really hard for me. I was raised with a lot of worksheets and paper-n-pencil. I was of the mindset that these were computer lessons I was teaching...but no, these are language arts skills. Once I got my head around that, I would share new posts and discuss that...we would post comments together. Anyone who commented, we would add their name to the bottom of the comment.
  15. When you're first starting out, consider getting kids to comment...we do a lot of choral reading with a sentence or a comment.
  16. After those directed lessons about commenting, it was really time to evaluate.
  17. I got this idea from Sue Waters...evaluate them on a 1 or 2 scale...those of you who gave it a 1, what was it missing for you? If someone said it was a 2, what was it that bumped it up for you? Lot of discussion among students justifying why or why not.
  18. How can I help my child become a better writer? ask parents. I tell parents that blog is perfect for that. Sit down together and compose a comment together. I recommend the parent type the comment but leave the errors in...encourage children to find the errors so that they can take charge. 
  19. Showing enthusiasm for your child's work is meaningful...parents are the key. 
Lots more great stuff shared but I had to sign off. Thanks to Linda, Anne, Lois for great conversation!




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Comments

murch said…
Hi Miguel, Thanks for coming to Tech Talk Tuesday especially as it was such a late hour for you.
Hope you enjoyed it despite not being able to see the whiteboard.
Here is a link to the recording https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2011-02-21.2141.M.AB819079F735171F161B8F6311DB52.vcr&sid=2007026 You took some great and comprehensive notes.

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