Teacher Feature: Wallace Public School

This week I had the privilege of visiting Wallace PS to work with Jim McCutcheon, Vanessa Gregoriadis, BobbieSue Scott, and Stephanie McArthur. I started the day in Jim’s class chatting with his kids about what it means to communicate in person and what that might look like online. We talked about how they use social media (and they all do), their passions, and how working in an online environment affects the choices they make in terms of what they share, why they share, and how they share it. I have shared tidbits of our class conversation below:

What does it mean to communicate with someone?
-talk
-share ideas with each other (texting, typing, writing)
-using actions
-body language
-facial expressions
-emojis

What does it mean to communicate online?
-type
-share ideas with each other (texting, typing)
-Skype
-share pictures
-Instagram
-Snapchat
-make videos and share on YouTube
-Pinterest
-Twitter

What are some of the benefits to working with others?
-collaboration
-get help with things
-communication
-it’s not lonely
-help you improve
-do more things and getting things done faster

Do you work differently when you know others will see it?
All kids answered “YES”

How do you work harder? 
-add more detail
-care if words are spelled right
-put more effort in
-think harder -want it to make sense and look good

Why do you work harder?
-because it’s not just Mr. McCutcheon (no offence)
-we want others to see it
-want others to see it and like it
-feel proud of work when others see it
-want others to like your stuff
-want others to comment on your posts

I chose to highlight these particular questions and answers for a few reasons. Kids are aware of the increased number of options available to them when they communicate online. Their understanding of what it means to communicate is potentially broader than ours simply due to the number of social media spaces they access and the skills they acquire learning how to communicate across a variety of platforms. Secondly, it is clear that students want an audience – a real audience – a broad audience (no offence Jim ;). Kids want to connect with others who are like minded, just as we do. When you invest time and effort to create something awesome, isn’t always more fun to celebrate your success with others? I spoke with Jim over the lunch hour and here is what he had to say about why he started blogging with his students:

During the remainder of my time at Wallace, I worked with Vanessa, BobbiSue and Stephanie further exploring the Edublogs platform, and sharing ideas about how to engage students to document and share their learning. I recorded part of my conversation with Vanessa as we discussed the “Why?” of blogging:

Your browser does not support the video tag

Why are you blogging with your students?

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