Jess and I have teacher professional leave this year, to lay the “eplanks for a virtual classroom” and are now required to write a short progress report. When we first started this project at the end of last year, only the two of us were seriously blogging in our school. A student blog had successfully been in progress for 4 months in 2007.
Achievements since Feb, 2008 at Hawkesdale p12 College
- approximately 60% of staff now blog
- three of our SSO staff (teacher aides) have commenced a blog
- all primary grades have a class blog (see links from http://hawkesdale.globalstudent.org.au)
- all students from grades 4 to 10 and some year 11s have an individual blog
- a Hawkesdale College “front page” has been created, from where all staff and student blogs are linked.
- a science wiki has been set up by the secondary science staff
- a new maths wiki is in the process of being produced
- established a wiki outlining our project and its progress
- getting involved in global projects, voicethreads, videoconferencing and much, much more
- developing a personal learning network that includes staff from Australia and overseas
All of these projects are attracting a global audience.
Getting staff on board
-has required taking ‘baby steps’.
- end of 2007/ we ran short inservices on the use of delicious, MS PHotostory and digital image manipulation with irfanview and introduction of skype and ms communicator. We started with tools that staff would use in their personal lives, so that they could gain confidence and then think about applying it to their classes.
- “10 minute spot demonstrations” at staff meetings on new tools, technology, resources etc.
- WIWOW – Walk in walk out Wednesday afternoons, where staff come into the computer lab with any needs and Jess and I help them. It is purely voluntary and runs for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Queries have related to a whole range of topics, including basic email use, photo resizing through to blogging, digital movie creating, music files and live blogging. This has been very successful.
- The sheer enthausiasm of our students with blogging and associated web2.0 tools has driven many staff to look at their work and become involved.
- As time goes by, and others join in, lots of ways and uses for blogging are shared resulting in even richer and more powerful learning outcomes. New directions are being discovered all the time.
- a parent information evening for grades 4-6 students included a 30 min presentation of our goals in regard to the laying of the eplanks
- a weekly corner in our school and community newsletter updates them on progress, activities and notable events.
- at parent/teacher interviews, parents were shown student blogs
- students often show parents their blogs once home from school
- attendance at a SLAV conference with Will Richardson, a renowned blogging expert from the USA.
- 4 week inservice on Quest Atlantis – a virtual world for students
- online sessions with USA technology educationalist counterparts
Reflection and reporting