• 19.10.2010

    This is the very first Digitalk post, part of a series of showcases written by teachers and children all about their experiences of class blogging. If you’d like to showcase your class blog please contact us.

    School: Greenpark Primary school, Sefton
    Teacher:
    Mr Rafferty
    Class blog:
    http://year4.greenparkschool.org.uk/
    Pupil blog: http://gpyear4.greenparkschool.org.uk/

    “If I hear that song again I’ll scream!” has become a common phrase amongst the parents of the children in our class.

    Why? Because the song and accompanying video (part of the Horrible Histories collection detailing the different fates of Henry VIII’s six wives) is catchy, sing-along-able and, most importantly, embedded into our class blog. This means that not only is it available in school but the children can go home and play it (and sing-along), to their hearts content!

    This is just one small example why class blogging has transformed the way we do things at Green Park. It connects us to the world around us.

    1. We share our activities with a world-wide audience and contribute to other classes and communities across the globe.
    2. We feel part of things and enjoy the links and connections that blogging brings.

    Y4 had a “standard” class blog which was so successful I felt comfortable in 2009 creating a separate Y4 Kids Blog: http://gpyear4.greenparkschool.org.uk .

    This is a self written, self monitored class blog run by the pupils in Y4. It was an experiment in trust as much as in blogging. Both elements of the project worked. Not a single word or phrase had to be changed, altered or amended for inappropriateness. The ideas and thoughts that the children expressed were delightful to read, both for the teachers and the parents.

    If there is just one, outstanding example of the impact of class blogging and the effectiveness of ICT in the classroom then it has to be Reece’s brilliant e-book post.

    The theme for our Summer Term Project was “how schools have changed over three generations”.

    The choice for our class was either:

    1.     To do the project as a pen, paper, photograph and drawing exercise

    2.     To do it as a blog.

    The split between the class was about 50:50. The bloggers of the class made progress with their words and pictures and extended their knowledge of themes and widgets.

    Occasionally as a teacher there are those moments of astonishment. I had one while reviewing the most recent posts from the class blog through my i-google account when I came across Reece’s e-book “School through the years“.

    Myebook - School Through the Years - click here to open my ebook

    If there was ever a moment that confirmed why blogging in education was absolutely the right thing to do then this was it. Of course Mum, and especially Dad, had an input in creating the ebook but extending the boundaries of learning is certainly no bad thing and bringing home and school closer together can only be good.

    Reece had interviewed his Grandmother, Mum & Dad about their school days and chronicled them using a website called “Myebook” that allows anyone (for free) to create  and publish/share eBooks, Photo albums, Comics, Magazines, Fanzines, CV, Brochures and all sorts.

    Thanks to Reece’s project our school newsletters are now published in the e-book format.

    Reece’s brilliant e-book has had, at time of writing, 7209 views, and not once has it ever been said “If I read that book again I’ll scream!”

    It is just too good.

    Thanks Peter! A cracking tale of the benefits of class blogging. We also interviewed Reece and his Dad to capture their experience in their own words.

    BrainPOP UK: Why did you chose Myebook as your medium for your project?

    Reece: Mr Rafferty sent out a list of useful websites that offered free software for schools. We looked at the list and choose Ebook.

    Luke (Reece’s Dad): I have seen ebook type magazines before of thought it would be fun to have ago.

    BrainPOP UK: How did you do go about making the ebook?

    Reece: I interviewed everyone and got the photos. We scanned the photos and I typed the words on the computer. Then my dad put them onto the ebook.

    Luke (Reece’s Dad): It was quite easy once we understood it. I have used Microsoft PowerPoint before and constructing the ebook was very similar. Reece typed the text on Microsoft Word and I copied them onto ebook. The pictures were uploaded onto the site and then inserted into the ebook. We did struggle changing some of the page backgrounds.

    BrainPOP UK: What do you think about the results (and fame!)?

    Reece: I really like the ebook because loads of people are looking at it and everyone in the world can see it. It was more fun than doing it on paper because you could do more stuff like, putting photos in it and adding circles. I like being famous because all my cousins have seen the ebook.

    Luke (Reece’s Dad): Reece and I enjoyed doing the ebook. I keep getting emails from Myebook telling me the number of views the book has got. We would definitely use it again only next time it will be aiming for a Booker Prize.

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  • 6 Responses

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    • Ms Wise Says:

      Wow this is inspiring!

      Well done Year 4 on some great work. Love the e-book! I learnt something about how schools have changed in England (I grew up in New Zealand) so well done Reece.

      Our class is new to blogging and we are still getting used to it, but it is great to see some fantastic examples to inspire teachers and pupils alike!

      Green Park Y4 is one of our favourites on our class blog and we keep an eye on what they are doing via their blog too.

      Ms Wise

    • BrainPOP UK : Year Four Blog Says:

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    • ChrisB Says:

      Hi Ms Wise,

      Thanks so much for your positive comments. We’re hoping to showcase the best class blogging we can find over time to help inspire (or simply help!) classes such as yours to get blogging. It’s such a vital and creative technology in so many ways. I’m not surprised you follow Mr Rafferty’s class blogs as they are so readable, genuine and interesting. Clearly the kids love blogging too.

      Perhaps one day you’ll be able to tell your digitalk story as part of this series? You know where to find us!

    • Green Park’s Story : Creative Blogs Says:

      [...] am very pleased to read the first of a series of posts about blogging on BrainPop’s blog. Pleased, because the first post in the series was written by Peter Rafferty. I met Peter over 5 [...]

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      [...] Showcased a school blog for the start of our #digitalk series [...]

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