Posted September 15, 2011on:
After a hiatus between online classes, I am ready to resurrect this blog! I started this blog in the spring of 2010 for my EC&I 834 class. In that class, we were to post our assignments and modules in separate pages, as seen above. Rather than remove them all, I will leave them as they are, despite how cluttered I feel it looks. I will most likely ‘renovate’ the blog at some point soon. In the meantime, I will be using this blog for my EC&I 831 class.
I should begin with a bit about me, even though I have a little summary on my post below. However, that one is a somewhat outdated, so here is the current “me”. I am currently teaching grade five in Regina, Saskatchewan, and this is my seventh year of teaching. I started my first year as the sole Arts Ed. teacher for over 800 K-8 students at two schools. That was pure insanity, as I was not even trained to teach Arts Ed., but you take what you can get in your first year. Since then, I have taught grades 4, 4/5, 5, and 6. This is my fifth Masters class in EC&I, and my second online class. In my spare time, I love do all things artsy and creative. I have a jewellery business called Three Little Birds Jewellery where I use vintage jewellery to create new pieces. It keeps me quite busy, and I have my line selling in a few stores in the city. I also absolutely love fashion, music, home decor, and anything vintage and retro! I was also busy for the past year planning my wedding, and was married to my husband Paul this August.
Paul and I are both avid music followers and we love to attend concerts and music festivals together, as well as play our own music. Paul is also in a local band called Left English, so life is pretty busy around our house! Adding to our enjoyment is our pup, Lucy, who is a constant source of entertainment!
I am honestly excited that a portion of my new class, EC&I 831 Social Media and Open Education, contains a blogging component. Ever since I was young, I have felt the need to document and preserve things for posterity’s sake. I have kept diaries and journals, endless scrapbooks, and a number of blogs over the years. When I first discovered blogging, I was in my first years of university in the early 2000’s. I promptly began devouring fashion and music blogs as quickly as their new entries were posted. I then started my own on LiveJournal, ‘commentating’ on the movies, TV, and fashion that I enjoyed as well, and trying to get my friends to blog or comment too! (Needless to say, it didn’t catch on with my group of friends as quickly as I would have liked. However, many of them did read my blog, so at least I was partly successful!) I maintained the LiveJournal for quite a long time, despite the now old-school html coding that was necessary when inserting a link or picture. When Facebook arrived on the scene, I found that my blogging time was replaced by this amazing new invention. Being connected to practically everyone I knew was incredible! No longer did I have to encourage my friends to blog – they were all microblogging, all the time! I will definitely be blogging about Facebook and my thoughts surrounding this social media phenomenon in the future.
When I became engaged in February of 2010, I felt the desire to begin blogging once again I was scouring countless wedding blogs for ideas, while creating my own ideas, and I needed a place to organize my thoughts. Plus, two of my bridesmaids were living out of the city at the time, and this was a direct way to show them everything that I was planning on a daily basis. I started my wedding blog, along with my jam-packed wedding binder, and it was a great planning tool. Unfortunately, I have not updated it in quite some time, as the closer the wedding day became, the more I had to MAKE things rather than blog about them! I will be receiving my photographer’s pictures this weekend, and I then plan to post the pictures on the wedding blog so that I can show the blogosphere how the wedding actually turned out.
I have used blogging to document my experiences, preserve my thoughts, critique pop culture, engage others in doing so, and to organize my wedding. Another way that I use blogging is in my classroom. I have a classroom website and a weekly blog. (The website looks quite sparse at the moment, but as I write newsletters and assignments, I upload them to the page. Since it is the beginning of the year, I have deleted everything from last year to begin again) I have found that by blogging about the week ahead, parents are better able to help their children to get organized for the next few days. (I created a Jing to help the parents and students learn to use the blog.) Most importantly, it puts the responsibility on the parents to be ‘in the know’. I teach at a school where many parents are very quick to defend their children and blame the teacher when something goes wrong. The blog makes the parents responsible for knowing what their child needs to do, even if their child says otherwise. I have found that the blog has been quite well-received and that the parents are more likely to check the internet for these updates than they are to search for newsletters in their child’s backpack. Many parents print off the blog each week, so I am happy to say that it has been effective. Furthermore, I try to engage the students as much as possible with checking the blog and posting replies that I answer each week. I have been teaching the students how to write for an audience when posting replies, and to engage other students in conversation through comments. I like to give them a simple, yet journal-like prompt or question to answer each week to encourage creative sharing. I find that the students who are shy often share much more through this means than orally in the classroom.
Well, there you have it – my life as a blogger. I am wondering if any other teachers or administrators have classroom blogs, and how they have found the experience to be. What are some of the purposes for your blog or activities that you have used on your blog?
Looking forward to getting to know everyone better over the course of the term! I feel that this is going to be a very enjoyable class, and I am excited to learn many new things!