I was hired in my current position to steer our Elementary School vision of technology usage to be more in line with current trends.
The first thing I wanted to introduce to the teachers was the implementation of classroom blogs. With most grades this turned out be more fruitful to be a grade level blog. It’s a step in the right direction and one I’m happy with. At the minute most grades are waiting for permission slips to be returned but our Grade 3 team (headed by @Shaza33) have a 100% return on permission slips and the blog is going amazingly well in our first few weeks.
We have parents commenting, videos of various activities and guest student bloggers all combining to extend our Grade 3 classrooms beyond the concrete walls. It’s a great start and long may it last. I’m waiting patiently on the other grades to follow suit…soon! Especially the lower grades where it can a fantastic insight for the parents to see what goes in their child’s classroom.
A debate that arose within our school was whether the blogs should be password protected (obviously the Grade 3 parents didn’t think so!) so I spoke at our last faculty meeting to address this. The teachers who I was working with were all supportive of the open blogs. I mean, what’s the point of speaking to a limited audience in a small room behind a locked door? You get to the stage where you (the student or a teacher) will go “Why bother, nobody else can hear me?”
And that’s when blogs die and enthusiasm wavers and engagement subsides.
With a password standing tall and strong in front of our students’ work and evidence of their learning no other classes or teachers could find us and share with us their learning or questions. Without a password the audience can easily subscribe to an RSS feed to keep up to date with posts, this is not possible with a password as the feed reader can’t get through (I speak from experience trying to keep on top of 70 student password protected blogs last year).
Passwords are just another obstacle in the way to access and to receive information, feedback and…friends. Global friends. With different backgrounds and beliefs. Different than ours.
Tear down those walls…..