Tuesday, 8 August 2017

PLD blogging at Tamaki College

Today we had an awesome session on blogging presented by Lenva Shearing.  It was really refreshing to see and hear how important blogging is for our staff and the students at our school as I can see it as a powerful teaching and learning tool.

As we followed the presentation, Lenva led us 'back to the future'. We were reminded of our links to the cluster and how everything is visible, which is a driver for the learn, create and share model (the presentation can be found here).

I liked understanding how blogging is rewindable and you can revisit a child's learning over time and see their journey as a progression of skills and ideas.

Here are my key takeouts from the session that I found could be useful for now and in the future:
  • Let's get an online newsletter for students, staff and parents which could link back to a students' blogs
  • Get onto the Tamaki College facebook page and promote our blogs
  • In the classroom, get a group of students to become a 'committee' of bloggers who are assigned a week each, find the best piece of work and post it on the class site.  They can also get badges on their personal blogs which they appreciate.
  • DLO's (Digital learning objects) are common phrases for our primary schools but not so common at the college.  My understanding of it is that it takes learning to another level to show what students have learnt eg a slideshow, movie, sisomo (a new word that I'd learnt meaning sight, sound and motion), screen castify or vlog.
  • The Kawa of care is important to go over from time to time.
  • At our parent teacher interviews, we could show examples of student learning through class blogs and individual blogs.  We could share with parents links to sites etc for them to see.
  • For ease of finding a subject that students are writing about, they should put the title of the subject first, then the title of their blog eg. "Social studies:  My wonderings about our government".
  • Why not start commenting on kids blogs at year 8 before they come college? It's a good idea to track a student and understand how they write and what they enjoy - a way to get to know the learner.
  • Everyone who blogs wants to get a comment and they love it.  A good structure is to use 'positive, thoughtful and helpful'.
A good way to give quality blogs.

One of my colleagues from the spark MIT team Kelsey, shared what her students had created to make it appeal to kids in their year group.  I loved the idea of kids being empowered to recreate something that will be meaningful to them and not just a boring poster the teacher designed.  The infographics are called 'How to comment like a boss' which is a pretty awesome title!

After the PLD, my colleague Hinerau and I thanked Lenva for her really informative presentation on blogging.  As hard as it is sometimes to shift practice and pedagogy, when it's purpose is clear, it's value is essentially bigger then ourselves - bring it on blogging!!.  

Me, Lenva, Kelsey and Hinerau after the awesome blogging presentation!

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