I was part of the Uphall Contingent who presented at Teachmeet Scottish Learning Fringe yesterday and would like to share our fab experiences from the day.
The Venue. Citizen M was an amazing place full of fantastic artifacts, seating and spaces. Our office space for working in was perfect. There was a blackboard wall on one side, a whiteboard wall on the other side and our young presenters soon got cracking annotating the walls. Whilst venue is not everything, being in such a fantastic place seemed to give everyone a lift and I’m sure helped lead to such a successful day.
The organisation. This too was wonderful. Nice and relaxed but really well organised. It put our contingent at ease straight away.
The presentations. Our presentation was about the blogging journey in our school. We discussed the reasons behind our blogging – raising self-esteem and aspiration, and how blogging helped us achieve these aims.
We discussed how we set up our blogs and the add-ins and widgets we used, the permission levels we used and how we promoted our blogs via twitter.
Finally – and this as the best bit in our opinion, we had two of our star bloggers guiding our audience through the school blog. The children who came with us (really we came with them!) were amazing. They explained the blog brilliantly.
Below is a summary of what we discussed on the day. If you’d like any more details , drop us an email or a tweet!
We were delighted to be presenting at the Pedagoo organised SLF Fringe in September and we had a great time and got some fantastic feedback from the people who came to see us.
If you were unable to visit our workshop, or if you are interested in why your school should blog, this blog post should give you a flavour of blogging at Uphall.
It is fair to say that in the past schools have felt the need to have a web presence ‘because other schools have’.
Blogging is as far removed from that philosophy as you can get. Blogging is about raising attainment by providing real audience, motivation and self-esteem with our young writers.
Blogging also provides evidence of progression in writing when done regularly as well as creating strong community links, both local, national and international.
Ultimately blogging is about having the child at the centre of a web presence, whether at pupil, class or school level. There are many example of the impact of blogging around the internet have a look at the results of a google search.
Since starting our blogging journey at Uphall, we have seen an increase in pupil motivation and interaction with each other’s work, we have seen our commenting skills develop and we have seen children begin writing for our blog ‘unprompted’ at home and in school.
We have had to date over 58000 visitors from over 20 countries and have used our blog to share our learning, set questions for our pupils to answer, supplement children’s work, live blog in lesssons (great for class discussions) and help peer assess work.
Aspects of our blog.
Our blog has a landing page from where you can navigate to our class blogs (each class has it’s own blog, as does nursery and our learning support teacher. We also have pages for our achievements in the community (which we encourage our parents to help us contribute to), pupil voice page where our pupil council, eco-committee and health committee post as well as an open pupil suggestions page. We post photographs of our Pupils of the Week and Headteacher’s award winners on their own pages and the Headteacher has her own blog. Finally, our most popular page is the Well Done Page. This is a record of children who are sent to our headteacher @fiona_macphail have their work photographed or recorded. It is immensely popular with our children and their parents and has lead to raised expectations of work, motivation and self-esteem. It has had 27,000 visits to date!
One of the most popular aspects of our class blogs is the quadblogging projects we have done. Quadblogging is an idea from @deputymitchell and is explained brilliantly on his site along with how to sign up your class for a quad.