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EC&I 831: 2. Digital Project- Reflecting on the first day of the blogging journey

My bags are packed: Preliminary preparations

  • Using what I had learned from my EC&I 831 class, as well as other research I had compiled, I knew why students should blog and how blogging is a way great tool for them to use to reflect on their learning.
  • I knew how to set up a blog, how to post and how to embed media.
  • I had investigated the expectations of my school division by reading about our protocols and meeting with not one but three of the technology representatives at the division level.  I understood what blog platform they preferred and why, I knew the necessary communication protocols I had to follow and the letter to send home.
  • I had studied other student blogs, met physically and online with other teachers who had taught their students to blog, and read various blogs and articles about teaching students to blog.
  • I had begun setting up the classroom blog, following every step in the video created by a member in my school, using the WordPress platform that was housed in our school division.

Getting on the blogging journey train

Certain I had done all of the preliminary training and research to be able to teach a class of grade 8 students in my school division how and why to blog, I arrived early to get  myself setup in their classroom. SmartBoard on, my PowerPoint up (yes- I love PowerPoints!), notes positioned just so.  Students arrived, found their seats ready to listen about the journey we were about to begin together.

Because I believe there is a book for everything, I kicked off the lesson by reading them the book It’s a book by Lane Smith.  It’s a book by Lane Smith is a humorous story about how some people in society no longer know how a book functions due to technology.  We laughed about how ridiculous it sounded but acknowledged how true it was.

I then asked them to fill out a “ticket” (entrance slip) about what they thought blogging was, why people blogged, who blogged, and what do people blog about.  Together they shared their thoughts and learned that some of their classmates already had a blog site.

The teacher and I explained how and why we had chosen blogging as the tool they would be using to reflect on their learning this year.  We discussed the rights and responsibilities that were expected of them when blogging.  We explored the ways in which they could express their thoughts, beliefs and creativity all the while keeping their personal information anonymous.

We examined various blogs of other students, teachers and celebrities to see what they had in common, what made them interesting and easy to follow.

We closed this first lesson by handing out media release letters that explained to both the students and their parents the purpose of this blogging project and how we would assure that all content and comments would be moderated by the teacher.

The teacher and I reflected on the first lesson and thought it went really well.  We were impressed with the serious discussion the students had about keeping their personal information private, about writing respectful and appropriate posts and comments, and about their honesty of some not being at all interested (but willing to try) to some being extremely excited to get started. I left that first blogging lesson excited about where we were headed.

And then the blogging journey nightmare began…

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