Best Digital Resource – Finalist: Nicola Stevenson, Tautoru Blog

2016_awards_web

Name: Nicola Stevenson

School: Worser Bay School, Wellington

Digital resource: Tautoru Blog

Tautoru Blog: http://tautoruandautahi.blogspot.co.nz/

Describe the digital resource that you want to be considered for the award:

Our name is Tautoru. We are a blogging group from Worser Bay School in Wellington, New Zealand. There are 80 Year 1, 2 and 3 children in the group with four teachers. It is a window into school life! Our blog is a digital record of what is happening at school. It tells the learning story.

Why did you choose to set up this resource?

We wanted our blog to contribute to the school ICT vision:
One of the key reasons for having a blog is that link into the school for parents and the community. We struggle with growing parents knowledge about why we learn in certain ways, and why our programmes look like they do. We also wanted to give the children a voice, give them a purpose for writing with a real audience. Our blog was set up to share information, showcase work and engage students.

How do you operate and manage the resource?

Our blog is managed by three teachers with help from our 80 students. Tautoru is a space in our school (for Year 1, 2 and 3 children). On our blog we try to cover a range of learning areas and it is regularly updated by teachers with the students. Our blog is into it’s forth year. It will be carried over from year to year.

What outcomes has it achieved for you and your class?

Blogging has been a great way for the children to learn about digital citizenship and staying safe online. Our core values are centred around “respect”. The same values apply when the children are online and when using the school’s technologies. Children know what to do when they see something that they don’t like or upsets them.
Parents like to see what their child has been doing at school, and students feel proud of their work. There has been plenty of positive feedback by parents. This has strengthened the links between the school and whanau.
Through making connections with others, we have collaborated with other schools in New Zealand and across the globe. This has been highly engaging for our students as they have had a real audience. The authentic audience also inspires higher quality work. Posting blog posts on Twitter has allowed us to make these worthwhile connections e.g through mystery skype and online global collaboration projects.
Our students like looking at the blog and admiring their work. They also like looking at other blogs and learning from those. Through blogging, students are able to reflect and discuss their learning and learn from each other.

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