This is Why I Built Class Blogmeister

As some of you know, I’ve been tweaking CB for the past few days. It’s my way of relaxing. We are coming up on Christmas time, where my mind, now into its sixth decade, still goes to play. When I was a child, it was Legos and a wild array of other building toys.

Today, it’s PHP code. Its the same experience, except that the bricks I have to build with are numberless — limited only by my imagination.

Testing things out has given me even more enjoyment, as I have taken some time to look at some of the things that Class Blogmeister teachers are doing. One, in particular, impressed me this morning — because it would never have occurred to me to do this. Carolyn Knight, in rural New Zealand, posted a Merry Christmas blog article at 3:42 AM Texas time. But about twenty minutes before that she posted an article entitled, Room With a View. Here she informed her students (who are now on summer break) that,

..We have moved next door to to a classroom with a different view. The first picture is now on the Room With A View part of our blog. It’s a picture of something else that is changing at our school at present.

Room With A View is a student blog that Knight set up so that she could write to (or for) her students from a different voice. In Room With A View, she posts pictures from around the school, most recently (3:32 AM) a picture of work that is being done outside the new classroom window, to enlarge the schools parking lot — what they so quaintly call the carpark. (You’ve got to love these global conversations.)

What impresses me is that I typically think of Class Blogmeister as a set of blogs. My imagination, with regard to its instructional function, has not strayed beyond the individual teacher or student blog. Yet Carolyn Knight has extended the function, extended her voice, and extended the potentials for learning experiences for her third and fourth graders.

This is why I build Class Blogmeister.

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Just Numbers

It’s just numbers, but some time during the night, a student or teacher became the 200,000th Class Blogmeister.  By coincidence, I’m doing a small face lift of the tool, or else it would have gone completely unnoticed — by me.  A few other current statistics:

  • 200,051 Student & teacher bloggers
  • 589,616 Blog posts
  • 30 Blogs posted in the last hour (4:04 PM EST – 081219)
  • 887 Blogs posted in the last 24 hours
  • 6,664 Blogs posted in the last seven days.

Again, it’s just numbers.  But here are just a few statements from teachers about their blogging students:

It is all about audience. My students can tell by the “reads” feature that people are reading their writing and it inspires them to write and to write better.

Kathy Cassidy

They are participating in a read-a-thon for which they have to obtain sponsors who donate by the number of pages they have read. The students prove that they are reading by blogging about what they read. Sponsors can follow the kids’ progress by reading their blogs.

Students also read each other’s posts for ideas about what to read next. (Blogging) is a cornerstone of my library instruction this year.

Sheila May-Stein

CB has increased my students’ motivation to complete and participate in assignments that would ordinarily be completed with traditional paper and pencil. The work they complete serves an authentic purpose that can be shared amongst not just their peers but world wide.

Hiliana Leon

One of the main benefits is that Classblogmeister makes learningmeaningful for students as their learning goes beyond the four walls of the classroom and becomes part of an active, interactive, worldwide
community.

Carolyn Knight

This is my first year of blogging with my second graders. I am so pleased with their excitement over using the blog. I have already seen improvement in their writing skills.

Donna

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