Parents Shining in the Blogging Community

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!

Do you know any special community members who have embraced blogging?

What do you do to establish a blogging community and encourage those community members?

Grade Two Students Blogging with Purpose in the Local Community

Last week, Kelly Jordan and I were approached by our local radio station, Bay FM. They were interested in the way our grade two students were blogging and wanted to talk to us about joining forces for a special project.

After meeting with Patrick from Bay FM, we decided that our students would be regular guest bloggers on the station website, and learn about professional writing and the media along the way.

Patrick presented our class with a “content agreement”, working as if our students were freelance bloggers in a paid position (of course, it is actually unpaid).

The content agreement stated the formatting requirements, topic guidelines and time frames.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the rest of the year, a different student from 2KM and 2KJ will write a guest post which we will post directly onto the BayFM website.

Their topic will be something that appeals to the Geelong community such as,

  • A recipe
  • Commentary on a current news event
  • History or an article celebrating the anniversary of something
  • Restaurant review
  • Travel information
  • How to guide

After nearly a year of blogging, Kelly and I know our students are up to the task and the parent support has been extremely positive.

We think this will be a fabulous way to conclude the year and we know our students will get a lot out of this authentic and purposeful activity.

Visit Bay FM to see our student posts!

http://bayfm.com.au/index.php/the-team/leopold-primary

BayFM

How have you been able to link learning to the community?