I created this blogging report to share with my head teacher to give her a background about how and why I wanted to start a class blog in school.
What is a blog?
A blog, originally known as a web log, is a collection of posts or articles that are written and can be commented upon.
Where to set up a blog?
There are a number of providers that give excellent opportunities for class blogs such as Edublogs, Kidblog and Primaryblogger
These blogging rules are examples of what can be written on the school blog:
Only use your first name when commenting – no surnames.
Relatives who leave comments are also asked to use their first name only or to post comments as “Reena’s Mum” or “Gary’s Grandfather”.
Keep safe – don’t reveal any personal information.
No text talk – write in full sentences and read your comments back carefully before submitting.
Be polite – don’t post anything that could hurt anyone.
Always show respect – be positive if you are going comment and always remember that the blog is an extension of our school that the rest of the world is able to see.
All posts and comments are checked by school staff before they are approved.
The ‘Think you know’ [http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk] website is a widely popular site to explore tips for keeping children safe online
What it can be used for in a primary school setting?
- 100 Word Challenge (100WC) organised by retired head teacher Julia Skinner, is a weekly creative writing challenge for children under the age of 16. Inspired by weekly prompts which children respond to on their class blog, they are also encouraged to comment on the work of others. All children will receive a comment from some outside of their school, and work, if nominated, can be showcased on the 100WC blog for everyone to see.
- Quadblogging set up by David Mitchell, this connects four class blogs together across the world. Each week all four class focus their attention on one blog; for example children can create task, ask questions for children to answer who could be in other cities, counties or sen countries.
- Encourages independent thinking: when children are able to publish what they have an interest in they take ownership of the quality of their work.
- Engage with wider community and parents
- Hosts a wide range of media ranging from video, photo’s and audio (our class recording of BFG playscripts) thats been captured in class. Also enabling the ability to embed many web applications such as padlet (online post-it wall) it can provide a platform to evidence and reflect upon children’s own and peers work allowing learning to occur outside the boundaries of a classroom when shared with a global audience.
- When Coveritlive [https://wwwssl.coveritlive.com] is embedded in a blog it allows a multitude of people (through a given password) to have a continuous stream of conversation, also known as live blogging. At the Cheltenham Literacy Festival (6.10.13) Pie Corbett and David Mitchell showcased an example of how it can be used to stimulate storytelling [http://6q2013.russellscottblogs.net/2013/10/06/coveritlive-with-deputy-mitchell-and-pie-corbett/]. It allows immediate feedback [Pie Corbett: Nice idea Tanvir - but I'm not sure about 'began to hear' - would Will heard a howl? Try adding in an adjective to describe the howl] and the ability to share and develop each others ideas.
- By using QR codes (an enhanced barcode that when scanned can show text or redirect you to a webpage or blog post in this instance), multimedia work such as videos and animations can be recorded in children’s books.http://deputymitchell.com/4d-books-linking-analogue-to-digital/
At Heathfield Primary School, in Bolton, deputy head David Mitchell began a journey with the pupils in his school using blogging as a vehicle for improving literacy. Literacy had long been a significant issue at the school, partially with boys. Upon setting up the blog, within seven months, the Year 6 blog had received in excess of 100,000 hits and 1,500 comments. In the previous year, SAT results saw 9% of pupils achieving Level 5 in writing tests. Following the blogging project, 60% achieved Level 5. Each child, on average, made 6.6 points progress in the 12 months between September 2009 and July 2010. In the next academic year, each child made an average 6.0 points progress.
Ensure that…where possible, tasks, audiences and purposes [are used] that engage pupils with the world beyond the classroom.
Ofsted, Moving English Forward
Primarily in its beginning blogging will heavily rely on the initiation and enthusiasm of the teacher. This will be particular true for Key Stage One, though you only have to look through the vast range of blogs in primary school to
Simon Mcloughlin described how children were once again reignited with blogging when they held a Skype session with Julia Skinner who gave feedback and provide inspiration for writing. [http://simcloughlin.com/skype-in-my-classroom/]
Example class blogs
These two sites hold a comprehensive list of class blogs:
http://www.literacyshed.com/uk-blogs.html From England and around the world
http://blogmap.co.uk Only primary school in the United Kingdom.
An excellent example of class blogs from EYFS to Year 6: http://davyhulmeyear6.primaryblogger.co.uk
Several years ago these year 4 blogs are from Oliver Quinlan (a lecturer now working for NESTA):
These are excellent examples of how blogs can be a multimedia platform for animation and for showing dance through the medium of video [http://4ch10.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/inspiring-talent/]
Ian Addison [author of perfect ICT lesson]
His old school: http://stjohnsblogs.co.uk/class8/
Robin Hood Primary School, Borhmingham
Year 1: http://yearone2013.wordpress.com
Year 2: http://yeartwo2013.wordpress.com
Regular blogging provides pupils with speedy feedback from their peers and from a global audience about their thoughts and work…
The school’s ‘linking school project’ maintains close links with a school in inner-city Bradford so pupils acquire meaningful understanding of diversity. This is magnified through the schools ‘quadblogging’ and its link to Jamacia…
Pupils know very well how to keep themselves safe. They are clear about how important it is to use the internet carefully as well as other new technologies.
Ofsted, Haworth Primary School: Inspection
Report No. 377559 (2012): 6