Benefits of Blogging by Linda Yollis and Class

My good friend in Los Angeles, Linda Yollis, recently created this excellent video with her second and third grade class about the benefits of blogging.

This video may give you more of an insight into what you could get out of blogging with your students, or you might like to share it with your staff.

It has been my pleasure to discover the benefits of blogging alongside Linda since we both began our class blogs in 2008.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of educational blogging, check out the post I wrote last month.

To learn more about educational blogging, including how to set up class and student blogs, check out the educational blogging page on my site.

Free Online PD: Learn About Blogging and Global Collaboration

In June I travelled to the USA to present at the ISTE conference with my long time blogging buddy, Linda Yollis.  Read more about it here.

If you weren’t at ISTE and would like to see our presentation, Linda and I are joining together for an online professional development webinar next week.

What: Tech Talk Tuesdays

Where: Blackboard Collaborate Room

Link to the Session

Date: Tuesday 21 August (GMT+10)

Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm

Click here to find out what time this is for you.

If you can’t make the session, the recording will be found here after the event.

About our Session: Flattening Classroom Walls with Educational Blogging

In early 2009, Linda came across my class blog. One comment has lead to years of learning and collaboration through blogging and global projects.

In our presentation, we will share our story and also offer you

  • insights into the benefits of educational blogging and global collaboration
  • a summary of how our students have worked together on blogging and global projects
  • an overview of how we use a variety of technologies in our collaboration
  • ideas on integrating blogging and projects into the curriculum
  • tips for getting started on your own journey with global collaboration

Please spread the word and join us if you can!

ISTE 2012 – What an Experience!

Six weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to win the Victorian Teachers Mutual Bank Outstanding Primary Teacher Award. This award has partially allowed me to attend the ISTE conference in San Diego, California and meet some of my international blogging buddies face to face.

Meeting Mrs Yollis!

When I arrived in the USA, my long term blogging buddy, Linda Yollis, was there to pick me up from the airport. It was truly amazing to meet one of my closest blogging buddies face to face.

2012 is the fourth year that our classes have been collaborating through blogging, Skype and global projects. This relationship has connected eight cohorts of students, and many amazing friendships and learning outcomes have been achieved.

Linda is a very experienced and enthusiastic teacher who has been a mentor to me in many ways. Over the last few years I have adopted so many of her ideas and received some great feedback and advice from my blogging buddy.

Our friendship developed through the internet, although when we met, Linda and I got along like old friends. We spent many late nights discussing education and sharing ideas.

It was wonderful to meet many of the parents and students that I had connected with through blogging. It was also a surreal experience to visit Linda’s school after seeing it so many times in photos, videos and over Skype.

ISTE 2012 

The annual ISTE conference is said to be the world’s biggest ‘ed tech’ convention, and it was certainly far bigger than anything I had ever experienced. This year was the 33rd conference. The host city, San Diego, came alive with enthusiastic teachers who were ready to learn, network and discover new ideas.

The theme of the event was ‘expanding horizons’. I can safely say my horizons were expanded. I attended so many great sessions and had countless enriching conversations with dynamic educators. I left ISTE with many new ideas and deeper friendships within the global education community.

Linda and I presented a session at ISTE called ‘Educational Blogging: Flattening Classroom Walls’. We really appreciated the feedback we got on our session from teachers in the audience. It was great to hear that they enjoyed our story and were encouraged to begin their own journeys with blogging and global collaboration.

It was fabulous to meet up with so many people face to face who I had got to know online over many years. Fantastic friendships can be developed through blogging and Twitter. Meeting those friends face to face is the icing on the cake.

Ronnie Burt, Julie Hembree, me and Linda Yollis

It’s going to take me quite some time to process everything I experienced. Overall, ISTE was a real whirlwind with sessions and events from early in the morning until late at night.

I recommend thinking about attending ISTE 2013 in San Anotonio, Texas!

Read more

As my USA journey continues, I look forward to continue learning and connecting. If you want to read more about my experiences at ISTE and visit with Linda Yollis, there are a few more posts you can check out.

4KM and 4KJ Blog – I wrote a post for my students on my class blog.

Mrs Yollis’ Classroom Blog – Linda wrote a post about my visit on her class blog.

The Edublogger – Linda and I wrote a guest post for the Edublogger blog about our presentation at ISTE.

Eight Weeks ’til ISTE!

Today marks eight weeks until I’ll be at ISTE!

For those who haven’t heard, ISTE is the International Society of Technology in Education‘s Annual Conference. The conference is one of the world’s biggest for educational technology and this year it will be held in San Diego. There will be over 700 sessions held over four days, and a plethora of networking and sharing amongst thousands of educators.

It was Linda Yollis’ idea for us to present together at ISTE. We applied last year and when our application was successful we began making plans for our trip to San Diego.

My students have been working with Linda Yollis and her class since early 2009. They were our first real blogging buddies and we have worked on many collaborative projects together. We feel like we know each other well but have never met in person!

Our session is called Educational Blogging: Flattening Classroom Walls! We look forward to sharing how we use blogging to drive global collaboration in our classrooms.

We hope if you’re attending ISTE, you’ll add our sessions to your conference planner.

There are many members of my PLN who I look forward to meeting at ISTE and some fantastic sessions that I am excited to attend.

Thanks to Tracy Watanabe who also shared the details for ISTE Unplugged; the “fringe festival” of the ISTE conference.

Please leave a comment if you’re attending ISTE. What are you looking forward to?

Have you attended ISTE before? Do you have any tips?

Fun and Games

So many rewards can come out of connections made through blogging and global collaboration.

I love watching my students learn about literacy, maths, geography, technology, history and all sorts of things about life around the world with their blogging buddies. It is such an authentic and memorable way to learn.

Last November when we were working on the Our World, Our Stories project, Mrs Yollis’ class shared one of their favourite playground games, Bamboo.

This video below, courtesy of Linda Yollis and her students, explains the game.

Bamboo became an instant hit. As Mrs Yollis’ class describe in this November post, our blogging friends around the world quickly started enjoying this unique game.

Three months on, Bamboo is still extremely popular at our school. Students from my 2011 class have introduced the game to the other students, and every lunchtime and recess the parallel bars are swamped by children of all ages.

I remember being at school and learning new games from students who had come from other schools, or from friends and neighbours who went to other schools. Now children from all over the world can so easily connect for fun and learning!

How can we encourage student centred sharing?