Sunday 17 February 2013

Sharing a pupil blog with parents

Context: This blog describes and gives examples of how the use of blogging in school was shared with parents.

Our classes actually started blogging before the summer holidays when they were introduced to the class blog space They posted work to the blog “live” during a moving up transition day and were also introduced to their own learning wall, which would act as a paper based “blog” in the classroom. The blog posting was done by pupils using one shared iPad to photograph, crop and post work. Throughout the summer the children collected postcards, souvenirs, cinema tickets etc to display on their learning wall display was photographed with pupil iPods and posted to each child’s personal blog space.

Home Page of the Year 6 Blog
The class blog began to evolve quickly and it became clear that we needed to communicate the role, purpose and function of the blog to parents as questions were being asked about what the blog was and what it was for. We had always aimed to use the blog as a tool to make the walls of the classroom transparent and to allow a constantly updating account of exactly what was being achieved in class and communicating this to the parents/carers was crucial. We decided to arrange a “blogshow” and to invite parents/carers to experience a demonstration and explanation of the blog and why it mattered so much.

Along with much of our work, this also allowed the pupils to work independently and to produce spoken content alongside multimedia presentations, all of which would be presented to a real audience at the blogshow. The pupils selected different elements and aspects of the class blog and prepared their own presentations. These include iMovies, Garage Band Songs, Keynote presentations and art work. In addition, the children prepared the spoken part of their presentation using cue cards and rehearsals in front of peers (who were ready to give honest feedback).

The blog had quickly evolved to meet the needs of the class. As well as each pupil having their own space there were spaces for a weekly song choice, reading book management ( with google docs), Guest Marker feedback along with specific areas for science and maths. These are some elements of the blog the children chose to give presentations on:

What is a blog?

E-safety and blogging

Using the learning wall

Standards of work

How to post work

Using QR codes

Guest marker

Using the iPods

Every pupil spoke confidently about how blogging fitted in with their learning. The audio/visual content was displayed directly from the blog, showing the audience exactly how to navigate the content of the blog. The event was very well attended by parents/carers and feedback indicated strongly that the blogshow explained clearly to the parents how blogging was being used to enhance learning. The number of regular parent comments on the blog has been high and the feedback has been valuable to the children. The blogshow demonstrated that a pupil blog is a work in progress, a tool to generate feedback and suggestions for improvement. It is the feedback that has made the blog so powerful in its impact on learning.

Parents/carers attending the Year 6 'Blogshow' 


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