It only worked moderately well because I was not fully invested in the process and our school community had not yet embraced the idea of social networking. Through exploring different blogs and researching classroom uses of blogs, I have discovered some interesting ideas for collaboration and I have made connections I didn't expect.
Initially, I revisited my school division blog and saw a post by a colleague, Thea Morris, about her use of a classroom blog to track and describe the journey her class is currently on in a one to one project using iPads in her classroom. After receiving the technology grant for the iPads, she made a smart decision to document her students' progress on a blog that she can now use as her action research project for this year. Thea had interesting insights to share and our conversation continued as I contacted her to inquire about linking her blog to mine. She reminded me that that is precisely how bloggers support each other. We had an interesting email chat and she told me about the personal blog on organized living she also started ten months ago. With 11 000 followers already, she has definitely made an impact on the collective!
Edublogger conducted a survey entitled, "The State of Educational Blogging in 2012" from May 5-July 25, 2012. Respondents described using classroom blogs predominantly for class websites, class blogs, student blogs, professional/personal blogs, news blogs, and for collaboration and discussion. Educational bloggers, Linda Yollis (U.S.A.) and Kathleen Morris (Australia) are two teachers who moved from collaborating collectively through the comment sections of their classroom blogs to creating global collaborative projects. They explain that "effective classroom blogging and global collaboration are built around relationships," The collaboration between their classes has spawned empowering student leadership initiatives for their students.
The journey of collaboration and the ability to embark on unique and creative global collaborative projects has a reach that goes far beyond posting homework on a class blog. I have been discussing the power of local and global leadership opportunities with my 14 year old son, who is hoping to attend We Day on October, 24. He is totally pumped about attending this special event and sees himself as an "ambassador of change," within his school and the community. Starting with simple class blogs can give children the skills, confidence, and even the courage to share their own voices through personal or group blogs that have the potential for world wide impact. I am amazed at the bravery shown by Malala Yousafzai by blogging about the right of girls to be educated in Pakistan. Efforts that begin as local concerns in the classroom have the potential to have far reaching effects.
http://theedublogger.com/2012/07/02/iste-2012-flattening-classroom-walls-with-blogging-and-global-collaboration/ (accessed: 10/13/12)
http://www.freethechildren.com/about-us/our-model/ (accessed: 10/14/12)