Educational blogging is so much more meaningful and rewarding when it occurs within a blogging community.
It takes time and persistence to establish your own blogging community. When I first started blogging with my class in 2008, we received the odd comment from a student or parent but there was no other audience or interaction. Fast forward four years and my students and I are part of a diverse and large educational blogging community. We learn and interact with people from all over the world every day.
Many teachers wonder how you can get parents involved in a class blog. My best advice is that parent involvement cannot be left to chance. It takes ongoing education and encouragement. This is something I have written about before and you can find some posts here, here and here.
Sometimes there are parents who take involvement to the next level. One such parent is Alma (aka AA), who is the mother of Bianca (aka BB), a student I taught in 2010.
2012 is the third year that AA has been extremely committed to commenting on a wide range of student, class and even teacher blogs.
AA has taken commenting to the next level and has established strong friendships with other teachers, students and parents from many schools around the world. She has learnt so much alongside us in the blogging community and she has reaped her own rewards.
AA and BB have generously sent Australian souvenirs, birthday gifts and Christmas presents to students, families and teachers abroad. They even supported Melbourne teacher-librarian, Kim Yeomans, by sending books to restock her school library after recent flooding. They found out about this cause from Seattle teacher-librarian, Julie Hembree.
AA is a role model parent blogger who demonstrates that the more you put in, the more you get out. AA would be the first one to say that blogging and navigating the internet was very new to her but through persistence, she has shown what is possible.
Recently, AA celebrated her 50th birthday and to commemorate the occasion, a number of blogging classes around the world put together a collaborative blog of birthday wishes http://aabday.edublogs.org/
With the new school year recently beginning, I hope to find other parents who are interested in embracing the world of blogging, even to a small extent of what AA has done.
Everything we do comes down to student learning and as the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development states,
“ It is well known that students with interested and involved parents do better at school.”
With blogs and other online tools acting as windows into classrooms, the ways parents can be involved in their child’s school have been redefined. The possibilities are expanding rapidly and, with the right structures in place, amazing outcomes can be experienced!