I have decided to try a class blog this year - again.
I have tried this before using different platforms but had little success.
The first time was in 2007 when I was teaching Year 1. It started off with good intentions but I ran into a few hiccups and it fell by the wayside. Looking back, one of my issues was a concern about student privacy which meant that I put so many restrictions on the posts and comments that it became hard work and not engaging for the students. We also had technical issues. We use Macs at school (and I do at home now) and at the time the kids could not post comments from a Mac for some reason. I had parents who would come in to assist me with helping the children to post and comment but most of the time we couldn't get the computers to even log on to the blog to read it. Very frustrating. This was coupled with a lack of access to digital cameras and no way of uploading the pictures simply. So it died a death. A good experiment, but it failed.
The second time I tried a blog was 2010. I used a blog site that was super protected - to the point that the blog had no audience. With no audience, it had no purpose. It fizzled quickly.
So now I am trying again. Third time lucky.
I think the real reason that my first two class blogs failed is becoming clearer. I can try to pass the blame on to lack of technology or restrictive use policies, but the real reason these blogs failed is because I didn't really understand why I wanted my students to blog.
I had heard of blogs and I knew other people were doing it but I didn't really get it.
I have spent some time reading about class blogs lately and I am certainly inspired.
I am part way through a series on Learning About Blogs FOR Your Students.
This lead me to discover this wonderful class blog by Linda Yollis. Linda Yollis also has a fantastic site which explains the whys and hows of class blogging. It is very inspiring.
So now with only a few days till school commences for the year, I feel excited about the journey that I am about to begin with my new class. It will be so much fun learning together!