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As we come to the end of our summer holidays here in Australia, my mind inevitably starts to return to the task ahead of me, namely preparing  my classroom for the year ahead. This week I have been into school to tidy up, rearrange desks and physically prepare my classroom. Mentally too I have been thinking about my program, planning new units and creating name labels and desk stickers.

Before term starts though I will be presenting at another school, to staff interested in learning about using edmodo and blogs in their classrooms. I am calling my presentation ‘Connecting your Classroom‘ and I will share my ideas and links here for anyone who is interested.

It appears that I am not alone in thinking and planning about how best to assist teachers to connect their classrooms to the world, as this week I have read several other blog posts saying just what I wanted to say on the subject. So much so, that much of the work I was planning to do for my presentation has been done for me. A big thank you to my PLN, you have helped to make my holiday longer and my job easier. Great minds think alike!

I will start by recommending the following magazine ‘A teacher’s guide to edmodo and student blogging‘ I created this using a new program  called Themeefy. In the magazine I have included links and details, which should answer most teachers queries on the how and why of using blogs and edmodo with students. In it I have included videos, posts and a podcast with both primary and secondary teachers.

Kathleen Morris is an experienced teacher and bloggers from Victoria, she blogs at Integrating Technology in the Primary School, I consider her blog as a must read for all primary teachers. She writes here about Setting up Student Blogs , this fabulous post contains all the information a teacher needs, to help them get started with classroom and student blogging. Of particular note is her advice on spending time teaching students how to write quality comments as well as all about creative commons, copyright, internet safety and netiquette.

I have long been wondering how to persuade more teachers of the value of reading blogs themselves, part of my presentation is on the educational and social value of connecting and learning from other teachers through the reading of their blogs. Edna Sackson, a Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator from an International Baccalaureate PYP school in Melbourne, Australia, has written here her Top ten steps to get teachers into blogs.

Finally this educational wiki has been created by award winning American teacher Mrs Yollis, she started it up as a resource for all teachers who are considering setting up a class blog. She writes ‘Having the classroom blog is like having Open House all year long. Students share what they are learning and then return to comment. Parents have regular opportunities to participate in the learning through commenting. I agree wholeheartedly with her point of view. I will be blogging for the third year with my class this year and I cannot wait to get started again.

As part of my presentation and workshop we will be viewing a prezi. I have included it here as a reference point.

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7 comments

  1. Janet Moroney

    Thanks for a great post. I will find this very useful as I begin another year.

  2. Thank you Janet, I hope you have a great start to your year too.

  3. Anthony (Tess W's Dad)

    Henrietta

    Liked it and very good use of Prezi … all the best for 2012.

    A

  4. Thanks for the wealth of resources, Henrietta. I introduced Edmodo to groups of Grade 6s last year after your presentation at Crown Conference Centre. It made a great impact in a short time. Hope to expand its use this year. My other aim is to get blogging started with the Grade 5/6 classes as well. (I’ve started my own blog this year and got some happy visitors already) Have some teachers interested as well and these presentations will be a great help in getting the school started. Thanks again.

  5. Thank you Mark

    It is great to hear you are off the ground with blogging and edmodo, keep in contact and maybe our respective classes can share their learning and collaborate together sometime this year.

  6. Thanks for all those wonderful links Henrietta. Chris Betcher also did a great podcast in The Virtual Staffroom on Global Projects that discusses similar ideas.
    My task this term is to get Edmodo going – have started playing and like what I see.
    Have a great 2012 !

  7. Henrietta, I think introducing online blogging to your class is great. I am a current student learning how to blog. It’s a different learning expirence, but a fun and interesting one. I wish Edmodo would have been introduced to me by a teacher earlier in life. My mother would have loved to keep up with that. It’s great that you’re setting that up, allowing parents to interact and keep up with their childns work. You work will be greatly appreciated.