Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Classroom blogs are revolutionising the way teachers (and schools) communicate with parents, their community, how parents can interact with their childrens' class activities, allowing more people to be involved in their student's learning and discussion.

Room 10 at Pongakawa School recently posted some work on their blog that they were doing using Tony Ryan's thinkers keys. You can imagine their delight when Tony popped into their blog and added a comment.

Parents of students at Te Ranga are regularly visiting the junior class blog even though they are away overseas to keep up with their child's exciting learning developments.

Students themselves who are absent for a variety of reasons (overseas, holiday, illness) are still checking in to see what they are missing and to comment on what is currently being learned.

Often this type of sharing does not occur until the end of term report, parent interviews or the next visit tot he school. Classroom blogs now allow this interaction to occur. Parents and students alike are able to read, feed in comments, stimulate discussion, and keep up with the play.

And the children's community is growing. No longer are they confined to their immediate geographical location. The new neighbourhood i.e. the student's learning community is global. Blogs facilitate this development. Interaction is able to occur between classes and individuals, community groups and experts.

Is there any research out there in this area into the impact of blogs into the school community partnership? Perhaps it would be a worthwhile area for someone interested in an E-fellowship...

Aha you might say - this means that perhaps a negative factor exists as well. And there may well be. I'd love to hear of these. From my own experience, that's why I really like classblogmeister (yep I'll say it again and again Thank you for introducing me to it, Tom and Jody). Classblogmeister allows the teacher to filter all comments.

If you have had any specific feedback or concerns about class blogs and their impact on School home partnerships, I would love to hear them.

These are just some of the wonderful blogs I have come across:


Moturoa said...

Hey Lorraine,

In reply….

What tangible differences has classroom blogging made to the interconnectivity between the home, community and
- students
- teacher

Parents check the blog on a regular basis and comment- most often orally about the the things we have been doing, bringing them into the classroom and taking the walls down. Children show their parents what they have done and some have started blogging themselves, commenting on each others blogs and replying to comments from children overseas. Children are more careful with their writing when they know they have an audience- the challenge now is for them to move from using the blog as a classroom diary to using it to really showcase their learning progress- some thing like Darren Kuroptawa’s scribe posts is where I want to head next- Maybe not so visually appealing but showing more of the learning.

What feedback has the school received from your parent community on this involvement?

A new parent to the school was checking out our school via the web site and had spent time checking out our class blogs- she said that by the time she actually arrived at the school gates she felt she was already part of what was going on!

Overseas family have encouraged us to blog. Keeping the family links alive across the globe.

What are some of the issues to consider?

Internet use agreements signed annually by parents/caregivers and children to allow publication of children work and images and to allow internet access- most parents are fine with it but need to included in the decision making process.

All blogs are monitored by the teacher so the only links or comments are seen and verified so the teacher and deemed to be safe.

Any other relevant comments would also be appreciated.

Children find the hit counter and Clustrmap exciting as they can see that people around the globe are interested in them and what they do.

Also this post may be useful…



Moturoa said...

Blog post link about why we blog

Lorraine said...

Allanah - you are magic. Thank you so much for feeding into so many of us. This information will be very helpful and already has been offered to others in our discussions. I totally support what you have so eloquently put. The children do become part of a global neighbourhood, very aware that the eyes of their audience are upon their writings.

The benefit to the lurkers, those who read and do not comment is hard to measure, but going from my own personal reflection is immense.

I have always advocated too that internet consent forms be signed annually. It is a good way to keep internet safety protocols to the fore, allow parents to have a conversation about it with their children (and others), and consider new information and choices

The wee clustr maps are a powerful visual aid to reflecting on our audience and cultures.

Thank you for taking the time and your reflection in posting this comment. You are a treasure! Check out Allanah's blog at:
Its a gold mine!
- Lorraine


Our Cluster Journey Together Into New Horizons.