Sunday, 27 April 2014

Blogging 101 - My Session at MTS Awakening Possiblities

If you missed my reflection on the MTS Awakening Possiblities Conference, check it out here

     Always wanted to blog with your students but were unsure about how to get started? Did you get started by could not determine how to maintain the blog throughout the year? This session shares an educator's experiences as she introduces blogging to her students for the first time. Topics such as project implementation, purposeful use, and assessment integration will be discussed. Challenges and successes of the project will also be shared.
Blogging 101, Kirsten Thompson
I am very excited I had a "speaker" name tag!
Blogging 101, Kirsten Thompson
All excited, showing off my session poster!
Thanks to John Evans for the photo :)
     My session took place Thursday morning before lunch and I was so happy with how many people were in attendance! Compared to previous presentations that I had done, this was easily the biggest audience with well over 5x the attendees than I had seen previously, yay!

     I started off by having everyone get into groups based on their teaching level: Elementary, Junior High, High School (I also had several admin who picked a group based on their interests). Using Padlet/Wallwisher, I asked those in attendance to discuss in their groups and share why they would want to blog or how they want to use blogging. See their awesome responses below!

     My session was divided into four main sections:
1 ) Why Blog?

2 ) Blogging Platforms
- How do you want your blog to function?

3 ) Parental/Guardian Consent
- Matching your divisional/school guidelines

4 ) I Got A Blog, Now What?
- Author system
- Expectations
- Implementing a blog into class time

    I'm actually considering building upon this session and creating a series of videos or podcasts on each of these sections in more detail. What are your thoughts? Is this something that would be helpful?

     Leave any blogging questions below!


  1. Hello Miss L
    We have a recently started class blog and are using for student blogs. I am very much looking for more ideas about the questions in your section #4! We blog using a pod of 7 iPads in our classroom.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Christin! Thanks for checking out the post :) First of all, my students blog on a collaborative blog where there is only one blog in which students take turns being the class author or "class scribe".

      Our first author of the year volunteered and then selected the next person who would blog next. Each current author picks the author that will blog after them. An author cannot blog again until everyone in the class has gone (unless they are doing an extra post in addition to our regular class schedule, which I allow whenever it comes up). Once everyone in the class has gone, we open up the list again and the process continues.

      For expectations, I have a set of poster guidelines next to our computer. If you send your email I can send them to you! They cover topics like content, visuals, links, labels, and proofreading.

      My students blog as class is occurring (in the same way a university student may take notes on their laptop during a lecture). Students still participate in all group activities but their work for that day often gets submitted through the blog as opposed to a hand-written copy. Often students take pictures of our board or of demonstrations and add them onto the blog in real time. The only time students don't blog in class is when we are doing a science lab. When that happens they blog about it in the next class, or simply upload a video of the experiment!

      Our classroom PLN functions exactly the same as an educators PLN (Personal Learning Network) would. We utilize it to gain a more specific audience for our posts and my students individually use it to explore avenues that most interest them. Their PLN includes everyone from other teachers and parents to Steve Spangler and university professors.

      I realize that is a very condensed version of the subtopics in number four. Please respond back and let me know if I can elaborate on any one of these things or answer any more of your questions!

  2. Hey Kirsten, great slide deck, I wish I could have attended your session ... but I thought I'd better do my own ;-) Glad it went well, start of a great speaking career!

    1. Thanks Mr. Nantais! I would have liked to attend your session as well, it is too bad we were slotted against on another. I went back through the twitter feed and saw some really interesting dialogue take place during yours though, good job at getting people thinking!


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