embracing blogging

Below is a comment I left on Tom Barrett's blog in response to his posting of "Do You Have a Class or School Blog." Tom is an amazing educator and willing collaborator from Nottingham, England, and I learn much by what he has put out there. Thanks Tom! His post prompted me to reflect on what we have built at Kimmel Farm in just four months. Honestly, this is the first chance I've had to truly reflect on this now that we've started our holiday break. It truly is amazing now that I think about it. Here's my comment.

One of my "BIG 3 Goals" this year is to integrate blogging as part of the instructional routine at my new school. I was lucky enough to have been offered a job to help open a brand new school after spending over a year building a new mindset and trying to build connected classrooms at my former school.
Opening a new school completely equipped with
Activ Boards and other technologies was a daunting task. Access is not an issue here which made the "sell" a bit easier. Furthermore, I have a deep belief that blogging has power in every subject area and every grade level. While our class blogs are in their infancy, the staff embraced my vision for blogging and we now have 21 class blogs setup (linked off our school's main blog) and slowly growing into powerful teaching and reflection tools. There are others who still want to start their blog so that number will grow. We only have around 25 regular classes this year.
My plan is to support and help our teachers at
Kimmel Farm Elementary grow their blogs in the coming year and get a handle on just how powerful they can be to support not only writing, but also creative expression in any curricular area through digital media that STUDENTS and TEACHERS create. I'm so proud of the way they've embraced blogging. If you look at the blog list off our school's main blog http://kimmelfarmelem.blogspot.com you'll see they're made an investment in this tool. We used blogger because that's the product our district leaves unfiltered and recommends we implement. The biggest impact is that this is a way to showcase to parents and district leaders what we are doing. More importantly the students are excited to comment and participate in the ongoing discussion. Later, we'll add blogging buddies - hopefully from around the globe.

Here is a quick video with three reasons Tom thinks blogging is important from his post entitled
Why Bother Blogging. I think the faculty at Kimmel Farm gets that this has tremendous potential and are now willing to explore these options. For a brand new school that is building culture and community this is a huge step forward. This is one building block for what we can become - perhaps a cornerstone (to borrow the words of Tom Barrett).