Into the unknown…

How do you take blogging beyond the classroom? The brief for my session is to show teachers what’s possible in the hope of inspiring them to take their current practice further. It’s one in a series of sessions for the Global Education Project.  Some of the participants are new to blogging, others are further ahead… I like to encourage them, irrespective of where they are at, to take one small step forward and see where it leads.

Meet Lindsey Bates, Year 3 teacher at Serpell Primary

The starting point for any good inquiry learning is the known. It is all well and good to begin there, but if the known is where you end up, well, it’s not really learning. This is true of our students and it is true of us as teachers and learners.

I recently attended a Blogging Master Class by Edna Sackson. The afternoon was engaging and inspiring and she left us with a sense of adventure and a challenge: to take the next step in our blogging journey, whatever that might be. I had to go from the known, to the unknown.

I had run a class blog for four years, we attracted a few visitors from around the globe, and I had even made connections with classrooms overseas via twitter. But I hadn’t actually tweeted. My challenge was clear.

Having just completed a blog post about my grade’s newfound fascination with Commander Chris Hadfield from the International Space Station (ISS), I knew that the stars were aligning. I followed Edna’s clear ‘how-to’ guide about how to get noticed on twitter and @ed Commander Hadfield into my tweet. The 120 characters sat on my screen- trapped between laptop and cyberspace. What if I finally spoke up, put myself out there, and no one cared to listen? What then?

After much hesitation I clicked ‘tweet’ and off my words went. Seven minutes later a reply came through. Within minutes my blog post was racking up views. The world did care to listen.

My students now feel themselves to be close and personal friends of Commander Hadfield and are delighted and inspired by the idea of the world watching us learn. It has only been a few weeks, but our virtual audience and connections continue to grow. Who knows where these adventures might take us?

Once you experience the authenticity that comes from learning and reflecting within the globally connected environment that educational blogging can provide, there is no going back to the once cosy and comfortable four walls of your classroom. Learning might begin there, but one can never anticipate where it could end up.

What’s your next step into the unknown going to be?

6 thoughts on “Into the unknown…

  1. An inspiring post Lindsey, what a great guy Chris Hadfield is. I really hope to be able to blog with my new Year 3 class in September and will now be following your class, we may then be able to link up and share our learning. Have you thought about Quadblogging with your class? http://www.quadblogging.net – I plan to get my class involved if I get the go-ahead to blog. Good Luck with your ‘next-steps’ I am excited about mine!

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    1. Dear Mrs Morris,
      Thank you so much for your positive feedback.
      I have considered quadblogging in the past, but it was placed on the backburner. Perhaps it’s time to bring it back to the forefront of my action plan.🙂
      Good luck with your Year 3 grade this September.
      We’ll watch out for your blog!
      Lindsey Bates

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  2. What a great experience! My Grade 3 Students (Beginners German) once wrote tweets to Eric Carle (@ericcarle) but he never answered. Unfortunately our blogs are all behind the firewall. Therefore there is no way to make it public to the world through twitter. It is even quite difficult to get the parents commenting on our class blogs. Our school is very concerned about privacy and security. What do you think about it?

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    1. Dear Verena,
      Thank you for your comments and your question. Keep tweeting- someone is bound to reply!🙂
      People who haven’t been active users of blogs often can be a bit apprehensive with the first few comments. If you can get the students to be confident with their commenting often they’ll support the parents.
      I can understand schools having concerns about privacy and security. The way I see it, having the blog ‘public’ makes it the perfect forum for teaching students (not to mention parents) about cyber –smart behaviors.

      Like

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