A final focus for my project I wanted to “connect” my students and myself to the global community as well as connecting my parents to the classroom.
Blogging unlocked the door…
My students have been working hard all semester at learning how to be safe online while blogging and commenting on blogs.You can read our work on Kidblog. The students looked for our digital literacy symbol on our daily visual schedule and were disappointed on the days it wasn’t scheduled. For the first while we had only parents commenting on our blogs. We were able to connect to two classrooms via #S2SBC on Twitter. There is a google form to fill in with your contact details and classrooms around the world can connect. I was able to share this with my EC&I 832 classmates and they were able to connect their students also. Our class is also waiting on a connection via the Google+ community Classrooms without Borders. This community allowed my students to take a virtual field trip around the world and look at schools if different places. It was an “Edventure!”
The students were excited to communicate with other kids via their blogs. It gave me an opportunity to discuss how to respond politely and the importance of asking a question to encourage the conversation to continue. Students were able to watch as email alert notifications came through on the interactive board. They established a procedure (self driven) to take the first 5-10 minutes of our blogging time to look for comments and reply. Once a week we read our connected friends’ blogs and commented on at least two. We continue to use this forum to talk about exciting news, our learning as well as explore any topics we want to learn more about. The progression of the students has been amazing.
My blogging continues to develop. I have a unique perspective as an educator in a Supportive Learning Environment classroom. Sharing this on Twitter has allowed me to connect with educators all over the world. I find myself drawn into Twitter and scanning for more valuable connections. I was honoured to be asked to write for EDWords blog and will be considering this in the new year.
Class Story …
This year ClassDojo added a class story (much like a Twitter feed) and this allowed me to connect the parents to what their students were doing and learning about in the classroom. It was well received by the parents. The ClassDojo app also added a chat option so that I can communicate directly with parents on their device. One thing that I really like is that I can have multiple parents sign up (blended families, living with grandparents etc) and send out important announcements so that everyone is receiving the same information.
I also share the Class story feed with the students as I post and it gives them pride to see themselves and know that their parents are seeing it. Often I will end the post with a prompt for the parents to ask their son or daughter at home about their day at school. I am hoping that this encourages a conversation beyond “How was your day at school?” “Good.”
In the end it is all about communicating… with our students, parents, colleague and the global community. We need to model and teach respectful ways to give and accept feedback.