Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Create a classroom blog and get your learners posting via email...

Submitted by Fiona Beal
Blogging is a great way to engage and inspire learners in the classroom. A blog is a web publishing tool that allows authors to easily self-publish and share text, artwork, videos, images, links to other blogs or Web sites, and much more. For several years now all the learners in my various Grade 4 – 7 classes have had their own blogs. We use these as digital portfolios and also as a way to learn digital citizenship and courtsesy on the Internet. Since we are a G Suite school, the free Blogger platform comes with G Suite Apps which means that blogs can be monitored more easily.

However, running student blogs takes up a lot of a teacher’s time. This post suggests another way, that is easier to manage, for getting your class benefiting from blogging… as long as they have an email account.

Set up your classroom blog
Perhaps you want to have a single classroom blog that is populated by the learners themselves? Well, Blogger makes this really easy. All you have to do on the main blog is activate the secret email address under settings and pass it on to your learners. They can write their posts in an email and add an image. They address it to the secret address. On your side you may want to review the post first, in which case you’ll set it up to receive drafts from your learners. Otherwise you can set it up to post immediately.

Here is a step by step process to create this type of blog with a secret email address.

How to use your new blog
How would I use this type of blog? You might ask. Here are just a few ideas:
1) You can ask the learners to reflect on what they learned in a lesson.
2) You could ask them to post a story they have written.
3) Learners could write a book review for Independent reading.
4) Learners could write about an outing they have just been on.
5) You could also teach learners how to comment on each other’s work in a positive and constructive manner.

Why don’t you try doing this exercise - set up one classroom blog for the whole class. Blogger makes it very easy to set up a blog – basically it takes around fifteen minutes from setting up an account to publishing the first post. Give the learners the secret blog address. If  your learners don't all have email accounts, create one email account and let them all use that one. (I  haven't yet tried this function but I am assuming it will  work).

Friday, 15 September 2017

#111 Useful Google in Education posts this week

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to various subscriptions recently, these are a selection that look useful for teachers . (The link to previous posts can be found here

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #121

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week. The list is embedded below but can also be found at . The link to the back-dated posts is:

Monday, 11 September 2017

Webinar recording and presentation download link 'Explore the Chekhov app for online writing' by MIEExpert Phuti Ragaphala'

On Thursday 31st August at 3:15pm we held a free SchoolNet webinar which was presented by Phuti Ragophala a teacher from Limpop who is well-known in many international and local education circles and also a Microsoft MIEExpert Educator. The webinar is entitlled, "Explore the Chekhov app for online writing' . Phuti believes that using the the Chekhov app for reading and writing is a great way to fight illiteracy.

Webinar description
Phuti says, "The Chekhov is one of the free apps offered by Microsoft for educators to access and use to enhance, transform and drive teaching and learning. Traditionally authors were known to be very academic people but today, through the Chekhov app, even primary school learners can write and publish story books online. The Chekhov app enables learners to be the solution seekers of the challenges that affect their communities. Illiteracy is one of the major challenges that need to be addressed in our country.. The sooner children get exposed to the challenges of their communities, the better they learn with understanding. I would encourage educators to start using it to encourage writing in learners. We are grooming future authors, journalists and orators."

The downloadable webinar presentation
Here is the downloadable presentation from the webinar available online in SlideShare from this link:

Webinar recording
The webinar recording can be listened to and viewed on the following YouTube link: 

SchoolNet presents a free webinar once a month.

Participate in the online Global Collaboration Day on 21st September...and more

Here is a message from the Global Education Conference Network with loads of opportunities for you and your class:

Global Collaboration Day
"September 21st is the third annual Global Collaboration Day! Experienced global educators are hosting a plethora of online activities for students, pre-service teachers, educators, parents, and organization leaders. Take a look at the calendar of events in your time zone and the more detailed directory of events! If you would like to host an event yourself, please submit your activity using these directions by September 18, 2017. And, please share this flyer with potentially interested friends and colleagues.

GlobalEd Events is hosting a Global Education Fair on September 21 as part of Global Collaboration Day. This is an opportunity for schools to receive more information about projects, initiatives, and programs that support globally global connected teaching and learning. See this site for more details about attending and exhibiting. Thanks to all in the global education community who are participating in GCD and the Fair this year! If you need further information, check out our recent presentation for Classroom 2.0 Live.

Last month, we alerted our community to our new Global Education Resources page and GlobalEd Events Calendar. Our resource page contains links to curated global education articles, organizations, and projects. Let us know if we’ve missed any events and activities related to global education and we’ll be happy to add them to the calendar!

Other global opportunities
Finally, here is a collection of information requests, events and opportunities organized by others that we’ve noticed:
GEC member Elizabeth Crawford is curious about any upcoming conferences related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that would be beneficial to educators and policymakers. The Global Education Conference, a virtual event, will have a stranded dedicated to this topic, but Elizabeth is seeking in-person events. Respond to the discussion thread in the GEC Network if you have suggestions.

Teen Dreams is a global video contest in which students can express their dreams as they relate to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Submissions will be accepted starting September 30th.

September 21 is also the International Day of Peace. Music Ambassadors for Peace are organizing a virtual concert and details are available here.

Julie Lindsay’s latest case study from her book The Global Educator features Pernille Ripp, the founder of the Global Read Aloud project which kicks off on October 2.

DigCitKids offers monthly challenges in Spanish and English for kids! Inspired by hurricanes and flooding around the world, this month’s challenge is for kids to show how they are helping neighbors. Students can document their story using their favorite digital tools and share it on social media (with the help of their teachers of course!). There is also a Flipgrid set up for this purpose.

Traveling Tales is a project run by Joel Bevans. He will match your class up with another to create collaborative stories such as these examples. Incorporating SDGs into these stories is encouraged!

#GlobalEdChat, organized and run by the Asia Society, is back in session after a summer hiatus. On September 14th, the Stevens Initiative is guest hosting and the topic will be virtual exchanges. To check see #globaledchat archives, visit Participate to see transcripts and collections of resources.

Post your own global events
If you’d would like an event put into this post next month, post directly to this discussion forum or email Lucy Gray at Thanks to Participate for their support of our events; make sure to visit their site for the best professional development resources!

Visit The Global Education Conference Network at: