Friday, July 9, 2010

Blogger's Cafe Update and Then Some...

First of all, my PLN never ceases to amaze me. I cannot thank all of you enough for the tremendous feedback I have received over, what I thought, was a silly little idea. You have really given me the support to think that this Blogging area in my room could be something truly great.

I wanted to provide everyone that is interested in a few updates since I posted this idea. Over the past few days, Shannon Miller (@shannonmmiller) from Van Meter, IA has connected me with a couple of English Teachers that are interested in working together in some way. I never thought that I would be able to connect my Michigan students with Iowa students. I have no idea exactly what I'll do with this chance yet, but that is ok. The possibilities are truly endless.

I've been talking to some of my friends that teach in the building about my blogging idea and by the end of the night, I have a Math and Science Teacher ready to sign up. Yesterday, I convinced another Science teacher to give it a try. I couldn't be more thrilled! It only takes a few teachers to make a difference in any type of school reform and I seem to have got the ball rolling. I realized that by getting a few teachers on board, we are all going to have to support each other in the early days. It's too easy to give up on blogging and I know I wouldn't be doing it if it weren't for the support of my PLN. Thinking back to how lucky I was to be part of a great group of bloggers organized by Kelly Tenkely, I realized what I needed to do. I need to create a  Blogging Alliance  in my building. (I hope Kelly doesn't mind that I'm borrowing the name.) This way everyone can have the support they need. My brain didn't stop there though. Why stop at teachers supporting other teachers? What about our students?

As blogging teachers, we should encourage our students to read and comment on the blogs of the other teachers. Even though they are not in the class, they should be encouraged to check out what is going on in other subjects. Maybe students would end up commenting and helping younger students. Maybe a student will take an interest in a subject or topic they never thought about. The potential is endless.  English students reading Math Blogs and Math Students reading Science Blogs and so on. I want to create an actual cross-curriculum environment in my school and blogs seem like a natural and easy way to accomplish this task.

I would like to get some Social Studies, Art, and Music teachers blogging on a regular basis. By encouraging other students to check out other blogs, you can start to get students to read and experience different areas of school they might not have encountered otherwise. I still have plenty of work to do on this epic plan, but I thought Math and Science would be the tough sells, but they jumped on first. I'll keep everyone posted on this idea as I flesh it out. I think it could be a big deal. I'm talking Ron Burgundy type of Big Deal. ;-)

I still have tons of things to work out and my Principal is on vacation through next week, so I need to organize my thoughts a bit more. I hope by putting my scatter brained thoughts here, my wonderful PLN will help me make sense of them and offer many wonderful suggestions to make it even better.

People tell me that I've created something cool for the students. I agree that it will be cool, but I cannot take all of the credit for this and other ideas. My PLN has been a wonderful source of inspiration for me during the past 6 months and anything I come up with is based on an #edchat I participated in or a Twitter conversation over a couple of hours. Thanks to all of you that have made the ideas pour out of my head.

I will keep you posted on any further updates and I hopefully will have a couple of my ideas firmed up and posted so I can get your thoughts on them. If you think you might want your students to work with an English, Math or Science Class from Michigan, please do not hesitate to contact me with a comment or through Twitter.

- @TheNerdyTeacher