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Oct 12

Blogging Schools

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It was 2007 when I started blogging with my students. I was very lucky that I didn’t have any trouble with the school management, they trusted that I would do a good job and  just let me blog with my students. It worked well but it was at individual level (only I and a friend who was teaching another level were blogging) and didn’t have an overall contribution to the school’s English teaching program. You can guess the reasons. Schools generally do not have policies regarding the use of technology but I feel hopeful about the future because they started to realize that it is not only the quality of equipment that makes a difference, it is the teachers who are willing to use technology in the ways that engage students, help them improve their language skills and connect them with the world.

When I had this new position at ISTEK Schools, one of my dreams came true. I would be able to have a significant influence on a kind of a policy like I mentioned above.

I decided to start a blogging project. Since we are eight schools in different places of Istanbul, I thought it wouldn’t be a smart decision to make everyone start blogging this year. I asked the department heads to choose two levels from each school. This makes sixteen class blogs. I thought of creating individual blogs first but then decided to sign up for a campus package that Edublogs offers. We have a main blog site on which I’ll give links to the class blogs and for now I just created one class blog as an example. I’m going to give a 3-hour workshop this Saturday and then create the blogs and send the blogging teachers their user names and passwords. The themes and the widgets of the blogs will be the same. I will be monitoring the content only and provide technical support if they need. This is the scenario I have in my mind at the moment. During the year, I’m planning to blog about our blogging experience and hoping that it will be successful.

I believe, in five years, more teachers will be willing and competent to use web technologies and school managements will be more responsive to teachers’ needs in this sense.

Are there any other blogging schools that you know? I would love to share ideas and learn from their experiences as well.

Happy blogging to my colleagues and students at ISTEK!

7 comments

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  1. Sue Waters

    It’s great to see your Edublogs Campus site coming together. I’m looking forward to working more closely with you and your team.

    Please let me know if you need an Word versions of any of the information on the Getting Started with Edublogs page for your Workshop — in case you wanted to adapt it for your situation.

    We work with a lot of different schools. Some of the individuals who look after their sites are on Twitter — would you like me to ask them if it is okay for me to pass their details onto you?

    You may also want to subscribe to The Campus blog which is our blog on using blogs in schools, districts, colleges and Universities.
    .-= Sue Waters´s last blog ..Managing Students on Blogs…What Role Do You Assign Students? =-.

    1. burcuakyol

      Hello Sue,

      Thanks for leaving a comment and your amazing support. I feel we work at the same office because of your instant replies:-)

      It would be great if I can get in touch with the people who manage campus sites. I definitely need to hear about their experiences.

      Best,

      Burcu

  2. Valentina Dodge

    It is wonderful to hear how you started and have developed and how your enthusiasm will touch others and support them. I agree that often blogging projects are sparked by individual initiatives (we all know that often translates into late nights, extra time spent on feedback but the rewards and energy generated are always worth it) so it is great news to hear that you are now in a position to make decisions that will support others with their projects.

    Well as you can imagine I could list and put you in touch with quite a few blogging classes… but let me share here another blogger like yourself who I have always admired Barbara Dieu (Bee) and her 2009 blogging class http://lycee.wordpress.com/classes/2nde09/
    I’m sure you’ll have exchanged many notes already with this great webhead and I know that your ideas will inspire the way she has.
    Keep up the super work Burcu
    .-= Valentina Dodge´s last blog ..My week in tweets – 9 personal reactions and interactions =-.

  3. Neal chambers

    I’m glad to hear that things are coming along so well Burcu! I think this is an amazing idea and I look forward to hearing more about it. It’s interesting that blogs have been around for about 10 years now and they are still ‘cutting edge’ for education. I agree that We don’t just need technology for technology’s sake but we need inspirational leaders and teachers to lead students and create interactive environments.

    Thanks for the post!

    Neal

  4. MissShonah

    Well done for forging a path that other teachers can follow. You can inspire those that feel threatened by technology and how to use it productively for classrooms – there can only be benefits and positive outcomes to what you are doing.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Shonah :-)
    .-= MissShonah´s last blog ..My Little One =-.

  5. Annie Cook

    That is why I love to blog. For as long as teachers want and are willing to share their knowledge, there is no fear for technology. It’ll be overcome by sheer courage.
    .-= Annie Cook´s last blog ..Tip On How To Be Bilingual =-.

    1. burcuakyol

      Hey! Look at your shiny and sexy avatar!:-)
      Thanks Annie. I definitely agree with you. Blogging is a great tool to spread the knowledge:-)

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