Class Blogs to Support Parental Involvement

LongniddryDuring today’s In-Service, Longniddry Primary staff got some hands-on practice with the eduBuzz blog system so more people can update the school site, and so that they’re ready to make a start with class blogs.

The school’s Development Plan for the year includes work on parental involvement, and the blog-based school web site is one of the tools they’ll be using. They’re also keen to develop class-specific web pages which will provide a more to-the-point channel of communication with busy parents.

East Lothian’s Parental Involvement consultation found that primary parents liked the idea of a class-specific web page. A survey finding was that today’s busy parents might want to be involved with the school, but only had time to be involved with their own children’s classes. For that purpose, a whole-school site can be a turn-off, as these people don’t have time to dig around in search of class-specific informatiion.

After the CPD session, Melanie Bertram and I explored some other new ways to use the school blog:

  • Subscribe by email: we used Feedblitz to set up an email subscription service for the school site (subscribe here)
    • This is set to provide a nightly email with the latest posts.
    • Feedblitz is a powerful RSS-to-email service which offers a free basic service.
  • Linking class blog posts to the school site: using Chris Hatcher’s firstRSS plugin, we explored how up-to-date headlines from a class blog can be syndicated to that class’s Page on the main school site (example here).
    • This enables interested readers to click-through to see the full post on the class site.

I’m looking forward to seeing what new ideas this group come up with over the next few weeks.

Student Quotes Work Well on Yester P7’s Benmore Blog

Yester Benmore blogYester’s P7 class, on last week’s trip to Benmore, provide a good model for how to get the student’s voices onto the blog without too much time being lost to blogging. They used short quotes from many pupils, which went down very well indeed with their audience.

We’ve already seen from Law Primary P7’s Loch Insh trip that regular blog posts can be hugely popular with those left behind. Their first post from Loch Insh got 69 comments, for example.

Evidence is building up that this wasn’t a one-off. Longniddry Primary, for example, have successfully blogged trips from Ardmay and from Barga in Italy.

Today I noticed some exceptional feedback on the Yester P7 blog which I thought worth pulling together. Michael Purves and Lucinda Stuart did alternate posts of photos and news. Each “news” post included quotes from large numbers of pupils. This post, for example, Benmore, Day 2- Tuesday 22nd May, includes 20 pupil comments. Maybe this way of including contributions from such a large number of the pupils was a factor?
Here are some extracts from comments left which relate to the blog.

  • … Huge thanks to Mr P and Miss S for giving you all such a great time.We love the blog!link