Friday, 12 April 2013

Technology Makes You Cool

I was really inspired this week by all of my students.  You see this week was the first attempt at blogging, both for myself and for the students.  It's a big risk putting our thoughts to blog space but I think it will be worth it.  The intent of this space is to reflect on our amazing year at our school: What we have done, learned or even just share the amazing individual learning that is going on.  The hope is that once a week students will be putting up a post that reflects these objectives.  Its been a lot of fun so far.  It has also been a big learning curve, more for me then them.  We first discussed what made a good blog? We looked at some of the blogs that the kids have read and then we co-constructed a rubric for the kids to follow in order to be successful.

But you know what the best thing about this was the kids loved it.  I even heard this:  "Mr. So is the coolest teacher!"  Internally, I thought, "why? cause I let you blog?" But as I reflected on the experiences that my students are having it goes beyond pure blogging. Here are some of my thoughts as to what those reasons are:

1. Its fun: I am all about fun and guess what technology is fun.  Kids love it, period, full stop.

2. Gives my students a voice:  One of the most important things that I have thought about over the course of my teaching experience is student voice.  I personally believe that all of my students need to be and should be a part of the classroom.  The learning environment is more theirs then mine.  I am a mere observer and facilitator of the learning.  As students explore blogs, wiki sites, or even use the I-pads and netbooks it encourages that voice and brings it to the front of the learning.  No longer is it the teacher saying "hey learn this...or do it this way" now the students are in charge of the learning.

3. Its engaging: I might be giving away my secrets here but I try numerous things in the classroom in order to make the lesson engaging for the students.  But to be honest, there is nothing like putting a piece of 21st century learning in front of the students and they eat it all up.  They love the I-pads, music videos, youtube, wiki sites and now blogging.

So if you are thinking about blogging I say go ahead and jump right in, the fact that you are reading this blog is amazing. Keep in mind that I am always amazed at what my students are able to accomplish and I am sure all students are that way.  And to my amazing class reading this I say keep doing what you are doing.

Here are some helpful tips for blogging:

http://www.pernilleripp.com/2011/05/14-steps-to-meaningful-student-blogging.html

http://www.notesfrommcteach.com/2010/09/learning-to-blog-using-paper.html