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An editor looks to duck duty: Will teachers please blog?


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September 06, 2005

An editor looks to duck duty: Will teachers please blog?

Stephen Baker

School year begins, and I prepare for my volunteer job: middle school newsletter editor. Now that I blog, I clearly see that the newsletter is a tiny tributary of mainstream media. Teachers and parents send me information. I choose what to include and how to use it. They get mad.

So in a perverse twist, I'm planning to orchestrate an uprising of citizens media that will reduce or even eliminate my own MSM job. I'm going to encourage the teachers to blog. Any teachers out there with tips? Any good teacher or principal blogs I can point them to? And how should blogging teachers reach out to offline families?

06:45 AM

society

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Take a look at:

http://whittierschool.21publish.com/

Various other examples at http://www.21publish.com

I am just about to use this "branded blog community" platform to improve communications beween members of a camaigning organisation. The idea is to get lots of members to contribute copy onto individual blogs and we will reach out to offline members by republishing the 'best' content as a traditional paper-based newsletter. One issue we need to decide is how to identify the "best", one thought is to do it by reader votes or number of views.

Posted by: Stuart Bruce at September 6, 2005 08:39 AM

> I choose what to include and how to use it. They get mad <

Frustrating. I do a small, private site for the members of a band I played in back in the sixties and suffer the same. Haven't yet found the magic carrot to get them to actually post anything on their own even though it couldn't be simpler.

Good luck Stephen.

Posted by: PXLated at September 6, 2005 09:04 AM

You must talk to Will Richardson, who is a real leader in bringing all the benefits of web 2.0 to schools:

http://www.weblogg-ed.com/

Posted by: Jeff Jarvis at September 6, 2005 10:27 AM

Here's a guy who's ahead of the curve when it comes to educational blogs -- http://www.weblogg-ed.com. While you're there, check out his blogroll.

Posted by: Ken Leebow at September 6, 2005 10:32 AM

"Bud the Teacher" is a high school creative writing teacher who blogs and teaches his students how to blog and do hyperlocal journalism.

Posted by: Fritz at September 6, 2005 01:56 PM

You may be assuming that everyone has internet access and is comfortable using the environment. Not all parents will make the effort to go online or even remember to read the blog on a regular basis while they might glance at a printed page mailed or handed to them by their kids at regular intervals. The resources of familiies in different school districts vary considerably. Recent stats on Lousiana indicated that schools had one computer per 80 kids, well below the national average, for example.

Posted by: Adam Turner at September 7, 2005 03:29 AM

Adam, that's why I asked in the last sentence how this blogging effort could reach out to offline families. I agree that it's a significant issue. It's also an issue for schoolwork. My kids come home all the time with homework that requires Internet access. More than a quarter of the kids in our district qualify for free lunches at school, and I'm sure many of them don't have computers at home. One more handicap for them.

Posted by: steve baker at September 7, 2005 07:25 AM

Or you could try out any one of these:

edublogs.org

Pop me an email if you wanna talk about it more.

Cheers, James

Posted by: James at September 7, 2005 10:13 PM

Great question. You should definitely look at Will Richardson and Edublogs. In answer to your question about offline families -- well, I think that schools and school libraries should be access points for those families. We bring them online via the school -- which gets them into the school. That's a positive feedback loop for teachers looking to increase family involvement in our classrooms.

Posted by: Bud Hunt at September 9, 2005 01:31 AM

How about a student teacher's weblog? I started this in the middle of my second semester as a graduate student.

The blog has some observations about what I've learned about educators and educating. I'm learning that I don't know everything about teaching!

Currently working on my student teaching semester in a grade 5 lanaguage arts classroom with 21 gifted/talented students.

Posted by: Rebecca Aguilar at September 10, 2005 07:03 PM

Lots of teachers blog:

Take a look at Mr. Babylon at http://www.hombreblanco.blogspot.com/ for a vivid and graphic look at an inner-city high school. "R" for language.

Ms. Frizzle, a Bronx high school teacher, posts at http://msfrizzle.blogspot.com/

Post-Hip Chick shares her pregnancy with her readers at http://posthipchick.blogspot.com/

Hedgetoad is currently grumbling about teacher pay at http://posthipchick.blogspot.com/

You may notice that these blogs, which are at least theoretically anonymous, have a very different aesthetic and content from those with real names. If I ever want to really write in blog, I'll go undercover.

Posted by: Elizabeth at September 30, 2005 10:39 PM

We have developed a product for schools that will bridge the gap between parents that have computer equipment and Internet access, and those that don't. Any parent can elect to have messages that are posted on the blog, be sent to them via mobile or landline phones, using a text-to-voice engine. We can also send messages via SMS and email. If you want to know more about the system, don't hesitate to email me.

Posted by: Andrew at October 25, 2005 09:56 AM

Actually, the URL for Hedgetoad is

http://www.hedgetoad.com/blog.htm :)

Posted by: Jana at July 19, 2006 02:26 PM

Actually, interestingly enough, many of the students in my teaching experience who qualified for free and reduced lunch also had internet access at home. In fact, many of them were on high-speed before the rest of us were. It may not hold true across the board, but I think more and more people are online regardless of income levels.

Posted by: b-matt at September 21, 2006 10:30 AM

Hai,

I am a teacher running a preschool at Hyderabad in India.

I regularly interact with teachers globally and blogs like these are perfect platforms which could assist us to unleash our potential.

Tips for making my preschool more effective are welcome.

Thanks,

Regards,

God Bless You.

Kay.

Posted by: KAY GAY at February 27, 2007 01:13 AM


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