When I went to the Georgetown Elementary Blog, what I found was unexpected: an elaborate arrangement of schedules, classroom blogs, pictures, instructional diagrams, and general news. I can tell you that the information that is presented shows an impressive amount of detail. The schedule of events in very up to date and extends up to the end of April. Every week there is a listing of events for that week in which events for a particular class, or even the whole school, are listed. The blogging is typical in the way that the last blogs appear first. In addition, there are pictures and videos available to show what the classes are doing. The Room 303 Harlem Shake was a riot. Much of the information that is showcased is ready to be shared by various means: Facebook, Twitter, or Blogging, such as this one on the schedule of events for March 11-16, 2013. As I said, I was pleasantly surprised to find so much involvement and dedication to this blog when thinking about an elementary school.
Next, I found that the Leawood Middle School Blog has many interesting concepts that make the school shine. This blog has the opportunity to educate the reader in what the school, as a whole, is involved with. But it goes further by teaching the viewer on certain concepts that are learned. Some of postings involve the use of graphs, such as this one that examined the temperature changes through 24 hours. I noticed that a lot of the news seemed to be fairly split between local, national and international, so that the viewer can see beyond the school and see the outside world. In order for our kids to think critically, we must give them access to the real world and find what they think of it and what they can do to change it for the better, such as this one on African women who carry water because water is very hard to transport. I could see myself teaching a lesson on environmental science using this particular blog because of the various thoughts on how to learn for learning sake.
Lastly, I must admit that it was hard to find a particular blog of a high school that wasn’t just sports-related. After a while, I found the Hull High School Blog, which seems to be more or less a calendar of events. In addition, a listing of all the new scholarships available to the school is visible and downloadable. It tells me that this is an efficient school that uses a blog to update information for students to have on demand. However, I found that this blog is for information purposes only and that there was no place for me to post a response. This blog gives students updates, but there isn’t really any kind of educational value.
Of the three types of schools, the middle and elementary schools seem to bring an inquiring way of learning: both present information that stimulates thinking and engages the viewers. I could see how during a faculty meeting that we could start a blog on the accomplishments of every department, just like in Georgetown. I think that many of my colleagues may be thinking that it would be too much effort in addition to the everyday things that they must do. I am sure that students could do wonderful things with the technology of blogging, but if students do not see teachers making an effort to bring technology effectively to the classroom, then, as Mike Ribble points out, “When students see adults using technologies inappropriately, they can assume it is the norm” (p. 2). Students are going to learn technology with or without us, it’s our job to decipher and instruct accordingly. Blogging is just one example.
Ribble, Mike S., Bailey, Gerald D., and Ross, Tweed W.. “Digital Citizenship: Addressing Appropriate Technology Behavior.” Learning & Leading with Technology. vol. 32, no.1. (2004). Retrieved March 21, 2013, from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/uploads/1stLL.pdf