On December 7 2012 I attended a Blogging Masterclass held by Creative Blogs, who are on a mission to encourage the whole world to blog! Apologies for the lateness for this post, but with a busy end of term and indeed, start of year, I have not had the time to write one.
In the Spring I wrote a post about the previous conference held by Creative Blogs. Presenting this time were:
I attended the conference with two of my colleagues from the Infant and Junior School, so all three campuses were represented.
The main benefit of blogging for schools is to create an audience and by doing so increase literacy skills. David Mitchell showed us evidence of this from his school’s experience (Heathfield Primary School) .
These are the notes and ideas I had resulting from the conference:
- Windows MovieMaker was suggested as good free software for enabling editing of videos before uploading to a blog.
- Critics of allowing students to be responsible for their own input onto school blogs were reminded that Wikipedia and the Encyclopaedia Britannica contain the same amount of errors! I am not convinced!
- Before even embarking on a blog for your class/subject; you need to be very clear what your purpose is. This sounds obvious, but if you rush in blindly, it can end up being rather a “mishmash” What do you want from blogging? What do you perceive as the benefits for the students? Is it going to be a diary, collection of work, entirely text based or using web 2.0 resources.
- The advantages of utilising a blog for your class, can mean that otherwise unrecognised potential can shine. Also, links can be made with the real world, authors and can even be commented on by international experts. In one instance a class were asked to write a project on a certain primate, this was picked up by an expert in the field in South America who commented on what they had written.
- It is important to put links to other resources on your blog so that students can see the bigger picture.
- It is possible to put work on your blog from all stages of the creative process. Progress can then be seen from “draft” to finished article.
- Anthologize can be used to create a book from blog posts and you can import content also from other sources. This could be a lovely keepsake at the end of a school year.
The day was packed with ideas and I am sure I have missed some, so if you click on the photo, you will find the the presentations online for you to see too.
Projects can be quite hard to manage in class. If one student does the ICT work, then others cannot access it if they are absent. How can you tell who has done what?
“Projects” from Wikispaces.com is an idea to help.
Hilary Reilly writes about her own experience:
“We used the wikispace to coordinate a 6 month collaboration between area math teachers. The outcome was a year long project-based learning mathematics course for High School. The purpose was to provide students in New York State with a course that was not repetitive in nature (more of the same), but that gave real-world application to the concepts needed to succeed in college/university. We used the wiki to collaborate, share resources and comment on each other’s work. Since we traveled a long ways to meet in person, this technology allowed us to continue to share our struggles and successes between meetings.”
There are many more comments here:
Let me know if you use a wiki project in class.
Thanks to CardFunk for this. Please click on the picture for my ecard.
Here is an idea to make this more fun. You could set this for homework? I saw this on 64 Interesting Ideas for Class Blog Posts set up by Tom Barratt http://bit.ly/qF5jVc . This one is for geography. Apologies for any inaccuracies.
Crossword Puzzle: Volcanoes
Unfortunately it won’t embed the html in this blog.
This post is a response to classes using the design of leaflets and posters to enhance and consolidate learning. They can be a fabulous tool and can create useful and attractive displays. The drawback is when the students rush into the projects and don’t prepare properly. I had a search around and Russel Tarr @russeltarr has linked to a really comprehensive resource at www.ncsu.edu/project/posters by Hess, G.R., K. Tosney, and L. Liegel.
To summarise posters need to be:
Care needs to be taken with the language and grammar particularly in relation its suitability for the audience. Glogster is a fabulous online tool to which multi-media can be added, and posters can also be printed out.
Threefold leaflets sometimes need some spacial awareness. It is worth gathering a collection of examples for the students to examine assess for both design, quality, how well the information is communicated, but also to see what the conventions are for location of the different information. e.g. front cover, contact us type information on the reverse, general information on the inside and the most important information on the right hand side as you open up the cover. I asked a colleague; Andrew Martin @AVMPsycho for some feedback as he uses leaflets for his psychology students and he said; where you have “most important information”. We decided that this space was an opportunity to expand into case studies, quotes or examples, in other words something that brings some real application to the content. This is what we found when looking at health leaflets. So the content here depends upon the context really.
Some students will benefit from a rough, story board type mock up like this:
Lastly, care needs to be taken with printing. Our printers are not duplex and so it is time-consuming when a whole class needs to print them out and feed the paper back in the right way up, so allow plenty of time at the end of your lesson!
After posting about iPadio and how useful it is for school trips. I finally got to use it today. It really is easy to use see our Infant School Headteacher’s blog I have created an RSS feed to it on here and am working with the Junior School MfL teacher @victoriawalster to produce a Spanish word of the day RSS feed for the MfL blog.