We have just pretty much finished a project in school which turned out to be (in my opinion) a good use of a weblog.
This session our school role went from about 200 to about 300 hundred when the school across the road closed.
To help to keep our sense of community it was decided to do a whole school project focused on shared values. This started as a discussion of values, the primary sixes and sevens then were grouped to create snakes and ladders boards reflecting these values. The 6s & 7s then lead groups of younger children to create more boards, 100 boards being made altogether.
Finally a life-sized board was made and we had a whole school house competition.
The project was wrapped in a story told my storyteller Michael Kerins who often visits the school.
I took the opportunity to organise a wee group of bloggers, who followed the project taking photos and updating the weblog pretty much as it happened.
The project lasted 2 and a half months. We had a core group of 6 bloggers (not from my class) that was augmented by more photographers on an ad-hoc basis. You can have a look at the weblog: Snakes and Ladders Weblog and the Snakes and Ladders Photo Gallery.
The children in an after-school club will also be putting together a video of the project but that will probably take a few weeks to edit.
I am beginning to think that short term project based blogs have some advantages over class and individual blogs.
- There are easier to manage. providing a way to dip your toe in the blog water without getting into a log term commitment.
- They keep focused and don’t loose traction.
- They provide a good experience for the bloggers and a useful resource for the rest of the school/class, everyone is involved in the same way as everyone is involved in an assembly according to there needs and abilities.
- If you are trying to evangelise blogging in your school/ authority this may be a way to start blogging, you are not asking colleagues to commit children’s valuable time on a long term basis.
This session, I have increased the number of children involved in our main blog from mainly one class to mainly four classes, interesting teething troubles are arising which I hope to report on later (when I’ve solved them), this one off project blogging has been a much smoother (if hectic) experience.