Today I had the opportunity to attend a technology planning meeting at one of our elementary schools. As I anticipated, the conversation was engaging and the work session productive.
The Principal, Mr. James Bond, is certainly providing excellent curriculum leadership with well thought out technology integration plans which align with our system goals. I was really impressed with the blogging initiative that has been started at the school and wanted to share a few highlights. In addition to the dedicated class blogs being run by some of the staff, Mr. Bond has also taken a unique approach to setting up a school blog.
The school blog project is designed to promote building an online school community. Accordingly, the blog is set up to allow everyone in the building to participate. Within the blog, a number of categories have been set up to organize the posts by topic. Teachers are assigned blog categories to monitor and be responsible for moderating. Each student is registered on the blog as a contributing author, which allows them to add posts or comments to any of the areas that interest them. Mr. Bond indicated this strategy has guaranteed each student in the school has class time with at least one, but usually more than one, teacher who is active in the project at this point in time.
Blog post categories cover a wide range of topics and teachers are encouraged to try new ideas too. Some of the topics include math journals, book reviews, as well as many other areas of curriculum and general interest. The project has been underway for just one month, and steady growth in participation is already being observed. Teachers have observed that students are engaged in the writing process during school hours, and many contribute from home outside of school time too.
Our session finished with some discussion around strategies to share this exciting approach to build community and increase capacity within our Board and beyond. I look forward to watching this project grow, and my next visit to the school!