Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rolling Over Individual Blogs

I have spoken a lot about the benefits for children when they have their own blog to use as a record of learning.  In the last few months I have presented workshops at two Google Apps Summits on how to manage a quantity of individual blogs. A question I was asked from at both GAFE Summits by teachers was, "Why go to all this effort managing the individual student blogs?". They would like to simplify matters by simply getting each student in the class to set up their own blog for the year and the teacher have no responsibility for what happens the following year.

There are three parts to my response:

  1. In our Manaiakalani schools the teachers take delight in supporting the children build their record of learning - an ePortfolio - and our original child bloggers are entering their 6th year of having a personal blog.  So we do need to be able to track the blogs and support the children as they transition from class to class.
  2. If we create the blogs with an accurate naming structure the posts and comments feed through to Teacher Dashboard - a fabulous way to monitor them for the teacher.
  3. We are able to ensure the settings are all completed in the way we have discovered gives us maximum accountability for the online supervision of minors. (More about that at this link)

As we enter a new academic year I have updated the workflow for a school managing the transition of a set of student blogs onto the next teacher(s).

I will headline the stages below, but the full process is available for anyone to use at this link.

Blog Rollover - Workflow

Step by step to transitioning the student individual blogs at the end of the academic year to their new class/teacher.

Stage One
Getting Organised
Get all the documentation sorted BEFORE starting the rollover process so it happens in a methodical fashion

Stage Two
Passing on a class set of blogs to the new teacher(s)
This really should be done by the teacher who taught the class in the PREVIOUS academic year.

Stage Three
Updating information on the new set of blogs
The classroom teacher has just been made Admin of a whole new set of student blogs. Now the header information, which displays publicly, needs to be updated.

Stage Four
Spreading the word about the children’s blogs is an important way of supporting their learning.

I do hope this is of use to others!