15 December, 2010

Presenting Blogs and PLN's to my school

The school year is over, the kids are on their way home and all our staff have got two days of professional development before the holidays.

I'm trying to encourage the use of blogging as an educational strategy for our students in the New Year and am presenting my case for the use of Blogs and PLN's to the staff in a couple of sessions tomorrow.

I owe a huge debt to the members of my PLN as, over the last few months, they have greatly contributed to my understanding of Personal Learning Networks, have asked me several pertinent questions and made some wonderful suggestions abut how to go about integrating these technologies into my school's culture. Thank you so much to Susan, Chris, Vahid, Julia, Scott, Jim, Sara, Kate and Linn. I am still amazed at how wide afield my network is spread and the different cultures that it is already influenced by.

I apologize in advance for any suggestions that haven't been put into the programme for tomorrow but I am hoping that next year will see many of the staff and students continue to develop their understanding and I will be able to make use of the many suggestions that have been offered.

I'm pushing ahead with blogging as an entry point to PLN's as I believe that text is probably the most generic and applicable medium that will apply to the participants tomorrow. Other formats may be more useful to individuals and Key Learning Areas but I am hoping that I will be able to work with smaller groups in the New Year and assist them to find the tools relevant for their own PLN's.

My plan is this:
  • I am going to start with the Powerpoint presentation as it says what I want it to say and I can leave it as a resource on Slideshare for people to come back to if they want to.
  • Having run through the presentation, I will model the process of setting up a blog on the interactive white board at the front of the room. Hopefully, I'll be able to take everyone through setting up their own blog and then publishing their first post.
  • The modelled blog will become a clearing house for all the blogs that the school population creates. So individuals can return to the site and find links to new blogs that may pique their interest.
  • I'm going to use EduBlogs, although I will leave the choice of platform up to individuals. Being a school based resource, I have to try and protect the students from adult content where possible.
  • I've created a Symbaloo page to provide a series of links that I hope may prove useful.
I would like to think that this will provide an opportunity for the school population to find out a bit more about each other and discover common interests that fall outside the typical domain of a 'school'. I also hope it will set many on the same road to developing professional contacts with people outside the school and our immediate local area.

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