2011 has been an interesting year for blogging.
I feel like my own personal blogging has been really suffering lately, not just from being really busy at work, but also from the endless distractions of Twitter and Google+ which, if I let them, could easily become my sole places for sharing stuff online. Certainly, there are some people, like Mike Elgan, who use Google as their sole online presence and funnel all their other online stuff into G+. It’s a potentially intriguing strategy, as the engagement factor on G+ is certainly very high. You could also argue that Twitter has replaced a great deal of sharing that was one done via blogs, and there’s little doubt that between the “Big Three” of Facebook, Twitter and Google+, the nature of blogs and blogging has shifted considerably since I first started using them back in 2005. I’m blogging less, for sure, and it definitely leaves a void that I miss filling.
However, this was also the year when I introduced a whole bunch of new bloggers to the wonders of blogging. At my school, I encouraged the teachers of Reception, Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 to give class blogs a try. It’s been resoundingly successful, with the Reception and Year 2 classes in particular really running with it.
Then, our Year 6 teachers, librarian and kids took part in a well-structured blogging project as part of an AIS-funded AGQTP Action Research project. The Year 6 teachers got time away from classes to learn about the culture and skills of blogging, and then they shared it with their students, who each got a blog and used it quite extensively during the latter part of the year.
Our junior school librarian also jumped on the blogging bandwagon too, and created both a Junior School Library blog which she regularly updates with library news and information, as well as a Book Review blog that is growing in popularity.
All in all, it’s been a busy year of blogging for many people I work with!
I would love to recognise some of these school-based blogging efforts that have emerged this year by nominating some of them for an Edublogs Award. Bear in mind that these are all brand new bloggers, people that have never done it before and were willing to get in and give it a go. I really admire their willingness to try something new and learn some new skills. I’d love to see their efforts rewarded with some recognition, and of course some additional traffic. I think they really deserve it.
So, my nominations are…
Best Class Blog: From Little Things Big Things Grow: The PLC Reception Class Blog, by Sophie McKendry and Jaclyn Casella – In their simplest form, blogs make brilliant journals, and this Posterous blog has been a fabulous journal of the year’s activities for this class of 4 and 5 year olds. With 39 posts over the course of the year, they have added photos, audio recordings and writing to document the many important classroom events from 2011. The reaction from parents has been overwhelmingly positive.
Best Class Blog: The PLC Year 2 Blog by Catherine O’Doherty, Lisa Case and Katrina Avery – This blog has been used to connect, collaborate and communicate with our parent body and the world, and has generated an enormously enthusiastic response from the teachers, parents and students alike. It contains student work samples, photos, audio recordings, scans, and writing. It also documents the adventures of Cocoa, the class mascot. The blog has had 147 posts during the year and over 11,000 views. It’s an amazing first attempt at blogging and deserves some recognition.
Best Library Blog: Library Matters by Sandra McMullan – I think this brilliant new library blog deserves lots of recognition. It was started by our junior school librarian, Sandra McMullan, as a way to showcase the many great things that happen there. It contains posts, photos, stories and booklists, all designed to encourage greater dialog and exposure to what goes on in the library. It’s a stellar first effort at blogging, and really think it deserves some recognition. In addition, Sandra started a second blog for book reviews which links of the front page of her main blog.
After a fairly full-on year of introducing blogging here at PLC Sydney, there are lots more blogs floating around (including a blog for every student in Year 6). While they are all interesting, I think the ones listed above have been the real standouts, and deserve to be nominated for a 2011 Eddie.
Now please go vote for them!