Sunday, July 21, 2013

Guthrie's Impressions

I went to room 9's blog.

The classroom blog looks similar to what I want my blog to look like. I like how the blog highlights different parts of the day. I also like all of the pictures.

I checked out a couple of the students blogs. The blogs were used as an eportfolio. Some students posted a lot more information than others. Each blog has a header picture that is a collage of the students' favorite things.

I do have a concern that the blog has pictures of the children and their names.  One of the things I am concerned about is cyber safety. Although I like the pictures on the blog, I also want the children to be/stay safe.

What do you think would be a balance between posting pictures and child cyber safety?

Hoy's Impressions

The Russell Street School has done a very unique, but great, job at incorporating blogging into their regular classroom setting.  The blogs developed by both the school and the students allow the children to learn what they need to (for all those lovely state tests) while at the same time being creative and taking ownership over their learning.  Teachers, I'm sure, serve the main role of facilitating and guiding students as they learn and discover new things. 

In a day and age where documentation and data is needed to support student learning and understanding, the school blog provides both.  Parents and other stakeholders have the ability to take a first-hand look at the learning that is occurring on a daily basis in the school.  I'm sure that student motivation is very high in the school as well, as students are not just learning but also creating on a daily basis.  If the students that attend this school have the basis of this motivation now, hopefully it will follow them into their later years and serve them well in their continued education.

As a teacher that is hoping to incorporate blogging in my school more, it would be great to know what type of prep work they gave to their students.  What type of help did they provide for them concerning netiquette?  How did they get the students interested and started on blogging?  What kind of "Internet and Blogging 101" type information did they provide for their students.  Since the Russell Street School has shown such a great example of how blogging can be used to facilitate learning, they would be great ones to get input and some how-to questions answered!

TZunker - Russell Street Impression

My first impression of Russell Street School blogging is how much of it there is! One thing I would like to know is how their blogging looked in their first years doing it. I know when I think about blogging in my own classroom I wonder what a good starting point would be to not only be effective, but consistent. It’s very evident that Russell Street School is committed to using blogging with their students (and their families) and it shows in the amount content and quality of content on their blogs. With the massive amount of content required of each student, I would also like to know how much time they get during their school day to write in their blogs and how much is done at home. If the expectation is that this is done at home I am pretty sure this style of blogging would not work well with my students. I have quite a few who don’t have regular access to computers or Internet. Also, if they are doing it during the school day, how do they determine who gets the technology and when? I would be very interested to know an answer to this questions because it is one of the most pressing needs at my school: lab time.

As I was looking through what students had blogged about, I noticed that not every entry had a comment, and that in room 9 there weren’t any comments from other students. I imagine this is purposeful, especially because it’s a young group of students. I would also like to know what the policy for commenting on blog posts is for teachers. Do teachers make their own policy? Is there a school wide expectation?

Overall, I’m impressed by what Russell School has accomplished with its e-portfolio blogs. They use a number of different types of posts (text, image, audio, video) and a large portion of the content is well put together. It’s great to see a school that is committed to using blogging with its students. It’s also great to see a school that has taken the time to implement technology in the building the right way.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

J. Stevenson: Russell Street School

Wow, I made a list of what I liked about the Blog and that was before I looked at the students pages.  What an incredible tool the school has created for staff, potential employees, parents, and teachers.  There is all kinds of information here:

-Review of the Disclosure: I pulled several ideas that I would like to include in mine (disclaimer about other links, not responsible for lost material,  and trying to keep the page up and running).
-The About page is great info for families and other schools
-Newsletter archive
-elearning videos for students and teachers.  
-Thursday Notice Board: a specific time and place to put out weekly information.
-Learning Links: My wife does Mommy school with our kids during the summer with our kids and links like this could be really beneficial.
-Links for Parents: Parents should love this school.
-Suggest Ideas: This looked like it was for teachers, but a great forum to share ideas or ask for help.

As for the classroom and student pages, what a great way to help parents see and be involved in their student's learning.  I really liked all the additional pages for each classroom, where kids could learn more about Math, Reading, elearning classes, etc.  As for the kids pages, they are learning how to use computers and they are finding healthy ways to share their work with others.  This provides both technical development and a very healthy form of emotional development.  Great, great ideas.

Friday, July 19, 2013

E. Peterson - Impressions of Russell Street School

I checked out classroom 9. My initial reaction was "Whoa!" The involvement from students, parents, and teachers seems to be phenomenal. Like others have mentioned, there has to be a true dedication from the community for these blogs to be effective. It definitely seems like this is the case. The other part of the "Whoa!" comes from the fact that the blogs are a bit crazy. They have a lot of information on them and some sites are designed much better than others. Although I think this has to do with the fact that the gets get to customize their blogs. (I think)

My biggest question is, how is every student getting the opportunity to post on their blog? Do you they do it at home? or in the classroom? And what if someone doesn't have Internet or a computer at home? And how much time are they spending uploading projects to their blogs? I would love to learn more about this school and how they maintain their blogs. It seems like they rely on this blog to show the parents, as well as the community, their progress in class. I wonder how long they have been implementing this? It seems to be working great for them!

Baysinger - Impressions of the Russel Street School

In looking through how this school - from teachers to students - use blogging as a part of their educational experience, what are your impressions of what you have seen?

Wow! The blog by the Russell Street School is very impressive. First, I was surprised by how much content the blog had tied together. This blog would be such a good resource for keeping parents and students connected to what is happening at the school.  I thought it was really neat that each class had their own blog that students and teachers could post to. I found the blog easy to navigate and looked at several classes. I saw "hands on homework" links and student reflections and projects posted.

One thing I wondered was how long the content stayed posted for. If  each school year they blog would start with a new class it must start fresh with the content too? I think having a blog like this has to take a good amount of time to maintain and that makes me  wonder if they have a scheduled time for teachers and students to work on the blog?

Lastly, I was just a little concerned for the security of the students. While this blog is an amazing resource to have for parents, teacher, students, and even the community, I felt there should be some level of privacy in place.  I don't think I would be comfortable as a parent knowing some stranger from America is able to view pictures of my child online. I was also able to access the students individual blogs which I felt was a little too personal for me.  Would there be a way to create a private blog?  I'm not sure on this one.

Russell Street School Impressions

Although the layout of the site was difficult to comprehend, I think the teachers in this school has some great ideas for implementing blogging. Many of the classrooms had a class blog, but the students did not actually post blog entries. Some times the teacher would post a blog entry of homework or display a student's work. Other times the blog entry would share what the class has been learning and link to articles and videos.

I think that this is a great use of a blog in the classroom. It requires students to understand the navigation of the site. Visitors can also see what the class is learning about. It also makes doing the work more meaningful when it can be shared with an audience.

I especially liked how Rooms 3, 5, and 6 got together to make a cereal and advertisement. The work involved the use of technology, it was showcased, and it also helped support the school by bringing in funds. This school seems to have a great understanding of how technology can be used appropriately to increase learning and motivation, and it has definitely given me some more ideas on how I can use blogs within my classroom and school.