More than any other initiative we’ve been a part, none have reached the level of activity as our wordpress blogging platform. This pilot grew from humble beginnings with the simple goal of “tell your story”. Our question – what would happen if we gave our people an opportunity to open a window into classrooms or professional thinking. Many of our teachers started with posting homework or sharing events and activities from their class. And our administrators shared their thoughts on the larger school community. But we do more than just share.
Blogs are meant to create the conditions for multi-way communication. So back into literacy we went – literature circles was screaming to be remade! Those who took the challenge reflected how using blogs increased deeper level responses from their students. It also allowed those quieter to enter into the conversation. This level of engagement was born out in other activities such as writing process from primary on up. Students who authored their own posts took more responsibility for making sure their thoughts were clear. After all, they were writing for the world, not just their teacher. Engaging in dialogue took on a whole different meaning.
Our blogs respond to needs of the participants. Teachers apply for student IDs (our id creation process focuses on student safety) allowing all a place to practice their skills of communication in a blended environment. Classes are encouraged to use the blogs to practice digital citizenship. Adult role modeling is a strong component of their learning world.
What adds bling to our blogs? Why its all those plugins. Some of you may have noticed a number of new plugins added to your blog’s dashboard. Communication in different ways like polls, google doc embedder, translator, gallery or image sliders for pages and posts. If you are interested in connecting other social media like Twitter or Pinterest, ask us about this plugin for your site.
The story hasn’t ended. Over the next while, we will be looking for creative ways to use and extend the blogs. If you are interested in joining our growing number of bloggers, please let us know.