This post explains how I have used the free Posterous blogging platform across all classes in our school.
Now I admit to being behind the game in terms of using blogging in school but it just hasn’t fitted with our school improvement plan and so even now we are taking things baby step by baby step. However I have done quite a bit of research into which platform would produce the response required to make blogging a success and impact on learning. In short, Posterous allows anyone with an email address to submit a post, which can then be moderated. This gives huge flexibility for children to post to a class blog and makes things incredibly easy for teachers to start posting. In other words if you can send an email you can and are blogging.
What’s the purpose? Well for us the primary reason to start blogging is to improve levels of communication between home and school. Previously this has been carried out through our old learning platform, text messages, posters on doors and letters. I want us to move to a place where letters still go out but are also uploaded onto our school website, text messages are sent as reminders for things and prompting parents to look at work on our school’s class blogs which would become a one stop shop for everything related to that class. That would be it. No more posters. No miscommunication. Everything in 1 place for busy parents to find. I know that once our staff begin to use the class blogs as a method of informing parents about events etc that it is only a small jump to them using it to share examples of learning. For want of a better phrase, a window into the classroom. The premise for impact on learning being that parental engagement will increase and therefore an increased dialogue will be created between parent and child related to their learning and subsequently the support of learning. Down the line I would love to regularly get individual children blogging by sending emails to their class blog, creating a real audience and purpose for their work, particularly writing. All this can be done using the simple elegance of the Posterous platform without having to spend hours training or administrating. Yes it’s true that because all the class blogs are registered under the same account that I have to moderate all posts but as things take off I can very easily set it so that teachers posts do not need to be moderated and/or I can set up teachers as moderators of their own class blog, whilst I can still oversee everything. There are other free and cost effective solutions out there but purely for ease of use and functionality, Posterous takes some beating.
Not convinced? Ok – here goes… Not only can you blog via email but you can get your Posterous blog to automatically post (Autopost if you will) to other sites you tell it to, eg the schools main blog or a school twitter account. So I have set up our PTA with a blog that noone ever sees but they can use by sending an email to an address and then it will automatically be autoposted to our school website. To be honest, I would consider ditching the WordPress school blog/website in favour of a slightly more limiting look of a Posterous blog if it wasnt for the fact that it has already been introduced!
Still unsure? Right – how about creating a good practice Posterous blog that any of your school’s teachers can contribute to by just sending an email. Or a Digital Leaders website where children could share their expertise in helping around school with various tasks or a child run school council blog all contributed to by the simplicity of an email?
Still not convinced? Ok. I have nothing left! Maybe you could add other uses as comments below?
As you can tell I too love Posterous blogs. I use to be a huge WordPress fan, but I felt that WP was too convoluted for what I actually wanted in a blog. If you want your school to start blogging I would recommend Posterous. It is very easy to use.