Blogging Continues

One of the things that I’ve learned from looking at blogging scope and sequence, but also the looking at how institutions use blogging, is the importance of building capacity around the practice.

In a recent meeting with my team of advisers, I selected a few different articles for them to read about blogging. I have on my team a group of teachers with different portfolios within the school, so each article had a bit of a different focus:

* Article One: HERE “How Blogging can Improve Student Writing”
* Article Two: HERE “Thinking about Learning Differently”
* Article Three: HERE “Integrating Student Blogs into your Curriculum”

For those advisers in admissions, I asked them to read article two so that in their role they could see how I envision blogs becoming central to the student experience. For teachers of Social Studies and English, I suggested reading article one or three to get ideas on how we can better connect the blog to the everyday learning experiences of the students themselves.

By getting advisers to self select their articles, I’m hoping for a bit of buy-in, but also so that they can see how blogging is a culture that encompasses the entire school. Therefore it is something that needs to built over time.

5 thoughts on “Blogging Continues

  1. Garth,

    I like how you have selected different articles to help personalize your approach with each group and help them to understand how blogging can be meaningful for each person. It is an easy way to provide multiple entry points. This has helped me to view how I can help develop my action plan as well because this is an important component of helping make the learning meaningful.



    • Hi Marcie,
      thanks for this. I think that in light of our discussions around contrived collegiality it is vital that your colleagues see the value and meaning of your initiative from beyond your own self, your school and community. I think that adding voices from other areas of education, and in my case blogging, allows stakeholders to engage and build capacity.

      I look forward to discussing this more with you,

  2. Hi Garth,

    This post has been very helpful to me. I am following the process as outlined in article #1 to set up the blogging experience in my grade 10 English classes. My colleague and I have been able to work through steps 1 and 2:

    1. Choose a purpose — reflective journal writing on various aspects of the works we are studying between now and May.
    2. Decide on a format and an online platform —

    On January 21, we will be conducting step 3 of prepare and practice. We will be refreshing the grade 10s knowledge of blogging as introduced to them through online literature circles. They will be creating their own blogs within the classroom environment, and then they will be sent on their way, choosing topics to discuss and comment upon within a flexible time frame. They will direct when and where they want to write their posts and comments, but they will be given a due date for contributions, which will be just prior to March Break. Essentially we will be giving a posting time frame similar to what we are given between Cohort Face to Face meetings.

    Now, I am just looking at taking the blogs public, i.e. outside of the wordpress environment, in which we currently only allow VC students to contribute to and see blogs. I will have to consult my Administration if I take it to this stage. Thankfully you have Article #2 for me to use to bolster support.

    My Action Plan regarding this initiative is coming soon to a Cohort near you!


    • That’ great, and I am so glad that this post was of use to you! It sounds like you have a very deliberate approach to this, and I would strongly suggest that you make the deadlines known well in advance for the students. Also, make sure that the students are writing their posts in Word, or in a googledoc first – this is a great habit for them to get into right away.

      In terms of making it public, have you thought about not only asking your administration, but also letting the parents know that their students are doing this blogging project? Getting the parents on board earlier avoids a reaction that could be less than supportive, if you know what I mean? Just a simple Email, with a clear rationale for why and when, etc…

      If/when you go public, be sure to try and get other students from other schools to comment on the blogs. Leverage your Cohort 21 colleagues to see if any one can connect your project with other English classes in other schools. Search the web for other like-minded teachers and get your students commenting on their blogs, and hopefully they will reciprocate!

      Finally, consider how to work this blogging into your class time. I feel that this is also a great teachable moment for digital literacy and working with students on their digital footprint. It also makes parents and administration more apt to sign on if they know that students are doing this in class time and not on their own accord.

      I hope it goes well, and I look forward to finding out about more!

  3. Thanks for the advice on how to approach with administration. I have been working with in my grade 12 English class. I can see how giving class time to work in medium is beneficial for student and teacher. I was able to work out some kinks with and our server capabilities. I was also able to help students who are not as familiar and comfortable with such interfaces. I am now in the writing stages of my Action Plan for the blogging and work that I will and have been doing in my classes.

    I have to admit this week in ENG4U has been extremely rewarding and extremely tiring. There is so much to think about when you are attempting to create an engaging and meaningful learning experience for the students.

    I am looking forward to our face to face on the 26th, and I am hoping to leverage you and Shelley in making those Cohort 21 connections!

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