Thursday, July 18, 2013

Angela Rutschke- Impressions of Russell Street School Site

I was slightly overwhelmed when I visited the  Russell Street School site, as there is SO much information to take in there! This school has done an impressive job of using blogging platforms in so many ways and they are a wonderful example of blogging done with great purpose.

I appreciate the wide variety of activities this school has incorporated and is obvious they are proud of their students and their accomplishments. Staff and students demonstrate a great sense of community here and it is evident through their team approach to their blog.

I checked out the eLearning page, where I discovered a  number of resources for parents regarding technology. What a great way to bridge the school and home environments!

After visiting Room 9's site, I felt like I was visiting the classroom! I can see me incorporating many of the elements into my own classroom blog. I loved seeing the wide range of pictures, videos and assignments from this class. I checked out a couple of the student portfolios as well. It was very interesting to see how this format was used and I was REALLY impressed with the inclusion of video for performance assessments in P.E. There was obvious buy-in by the students, as they personalized these sites and they maintain them throughout the year. This is exactly what I am hoping will develop in my class next year!

As I ventured to Room 14's site, I felt like THIS is what I would have done! The look and feel of this site was calming and easy to navigate. The tabs for different pages made it feel like an average webpage, but it offers more interaction and a wonderful chronological order to activities and assignments.

When I checked out a couple student portfolios from this class, I loved that the Report and Assessment pages in the student portfolios required a password, as I appreciate this added security and privacy feature.

The staff and students of Russell Street School have done a magnificent job of creating connections among all stakeholders. It is clear that they have access to some wonderful resources and that fine arts is valued there as well. Their use of blogging is inspirational and very motivating!


  1. Angela,
    I, like you, thought it was a great idea to include the safety policy on the Report and Assessment pages. It is nice to have that feature. This allows students to see how they are doing at anytime, yet keep other eyes away from it.
    Jaime Piatt

    1. This was a great feature and something that I will definitely be incorporating into my blogging community next year.

  2. Hi Angela,
    I also found the inclusion of videos really interesting. I was particularly impressed by the Arts Blog with performances at the school. I also got a great feel for the classroom merely from looking at the blogs. I am sure this is a great resource for parents to keep abreast of their kids classes.

    1. Darla, the videos are a personal touch, aren't they? I would think that the school's audience would really know what is going on there. I also thought that they offer a magnificent way to share with family that can't always attend performances.

  3. Angela, you've actually picked up on one of the reasons I use this as an example. Our course focuses upon ways to use blogs with students as a class activity (in a couple of different formats). Russell Street School does this, but they also use the blog for a variety of other means - for students, teachers, and the school as a whole. Glad you highlighted some of these uses.

    1. It was great to see specific examples of blogs that are actually being used in many different ways. It is a powerful medium!

  4. Angela,

    I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who felt overwhelmed, my mind started trying to figure out how a school would go about incorporate blogging at this level and how I would try to do what they have done.

    I did not notice the password protected assessment docs in room 14, I will have to go back and check that out.

    I can't imagine a parent ever having to ask, what is my child doing in class or how is my child doing in class. All they need to do is check the blog.

    Thanks for your comments.


    1. Jeremy, I was definitely overwhelmed at first, especially on the homepage. Using a blog vs. a website adds more information, especially on the sidebars and that was visually distracting to me. Of course, like you, I was trying to figure out a reasonable way to incorporate blogging to this degree.

      I would think that all stakeholders have a pretty excellent handle on where their students are achieving and that is exciting!