As I began this school year, I expected to be teaching grade 3/4. I expected to be teaching in a classroom with posters on the walls and a blackboard to write on. Our school board has a one-to-one laptop program for students from grades 3 to 11, so I expected to be integrating technology seamlessly into my lessons. I was thinking that blogging with my students might be an interesting new adventure for me to explore with my students.
I didn't know anything!
One month into the school year, I changed teaching positions when the school board began a new school - a virtual school with students from grade 1 to 11 around the world.. I am now a "virtual teacher". We meet online for 2 hours each school day using software that allows us text chats, voice chats, video, and a shared "blackboard" (okay - more like a whiteboard) of sorts. I do some explicit teaching, we discuss the progress each student is making on various projects and what the next step is, etc. Each afternoon, the students work on the assignments and projects that we have discussed online. A learning assistant or teacher on-site is present to support them. It is very exciting for me to be a part of this.
I now have a new motivation to get into blogging with students. I have just one grade 11 student. I would like to get him involved in discussions with his peers. I think it is important for him to have those kinds of interactions with other teens, not just the adults he is surrounded with. I think that the best way for me to figure out how to use blogging with him is to start myself. In the past, I have not been so good at keeping up with regular posts, but I am going to try. All I can do is get started and see where we go from here.