Monday, March 20, 2006

Seeking input as we move forward

First, I have to say this is the most exciting thing I have done in a long time! For those of you who have been around for some time now let me remind you about the thrill of seeing comments on your blog or the sheer awe caused by seeing a link to your blog on another site. No wonder this is such a powerful tool.

As I am contemplating the next step in rolling out our plans for fall of 2006 a couple of things strikes me. First, I see a need to get my teachers reading some of these blogs so at the next faculty meeting I think we will visit the computer lab and set up some blogline accounts. Phase two will be the creation of their own blogs because you can not teach what you have not done and of course, I want them to experience the same excitement awe and wonder I have experienced.

The other area I am pondering has to do with communicating with our stakeholders. I have read Nancy’s blog with all of the posts regarding why we blog but now I need to decided what do I need to communicate to my community of parents. Does anyone have any wisdom or insights? When you began blogging in your schools how was this handled? Did you or your administrator meet with the parents or did you just start blogging and then the students shared with their parents? Or????

On the same topic but from a slightly different perspective- What information should I make available for the parents? I do not want to overload them with technical information but I do want them to be informed about what we are doing and why. I am interested in links for articles, power point presentations, podcasts, or other sites that would be suitable to share with them. I think I am going to put a FAQ section on our website with links to relevant information but I need you help to gather the best information. Thank you!

4 comments:

Susan said...

Barbara,
What an exciting road you have ahead of you. I so respect the care you are taking to move stakeholders along at a pace that doesn't overwhelm them. I predict that for many, your enthusiasm will be contagious.

I am finding that if I teach the kids first, they teach the parents. Granted, I have fifth graders this year so they are able to take on a lot more indepedently that younger children may be able to do.

I was mindful of not oversupporting the students. At the beginning of the year, I set up a Schoolnotes page. Our wonderful computer tech offered to put the address on the school web page and the internal start page for the browsers. I declined. The Schoolnotes address isn't long and although it was painful watching them get up to speed, now they can all access it from anywhere. Those with internet access now choose to access it from home, and with them come their parents. As a result, they can reach all sorts of useful resources along with our Moodle, our online flash cards, our blog.


My second bit of experience to share is getting the kids involved online. With our Moodle and our blogs, the kids are excited and wanting to show their families. The kids are comfortable with the technology, so each parent has an in-house tutor to help them get to the information.

I'd hoped to have a secure way for my parents to track grades online. I haven't managed that yet, and it is probably good that it didn't come first or those kids might not have been so willing to help their parents.

Any chance you'll add an RSS feed? I'd love to track your blog with my RSS aggregator.

Barbara said...
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Barbara said...

Thank you Susan. I think I managed tonight to get the feed set up. Let me know if it works for you. It seems that every day brings something new to learn.

I agree that the students can be our best advocates. Because this will be a systemic change for our school I need to introduce the concepts to the parents -especially since (at the same time) our district is publishing information about my space.

Susan said...

Oh My! No pressure there! I hope you don't read any information in the district materials that is news to you!

Thanks for setting up the bloglines feed. I tend to use NetNewsWire lite but I have a bloglines account, so I added your feed to my Bloglines and then copied the feed address into my reader. It is working fine and I am looking forward to reading more of your adventure.