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Reflection on my blog and how we communicate… March 9, 2009

Posted by handspiker in Uncategorized.
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As I was updating my classroom blog it struck me that it may be to much. In an age and society where less is more is it too wordy? I still think it is a great idea to keep the lines of communication open between educator, student and parent. But can I make it more efficient?

I still am not grasping well the idea of Twitter and its uses right now. I have said in past posts it has helped me to locate some resources/stories that I have felt useful, but the form of communication is lost to me. However, between Twitter and texting (via cell phone) I am beginning to see the benefits of less is more. Perhaps keeping it simple would relate to students better. For parents I thought should I incorporate a list of assignments, tests, exams and their due dates? Is scrolling through daily updates worthwhile?

I have talked with two parents, for sure, that use my blog and they love it (whew). Just today a parent called and asked me [concerned] that the assignment posted on my blog on Friday was due today, and that her son was not there due to the cold weather. Was he going to lose marks? I assured her not. She thanked me and I quickly asked her if she routinely used my blog. She said she does and that it gives her the ability to ask her son the “right questions” to get a response from him. Before he would give her a short answer not very telling, but now she can and does ask questions that he has to answer.

After this I felt fantastic. It’s working! But how can I make it clearer? Twitter and texting has taught me a new brief language to get the point across. So exploring the blog options revealed a couple of ideas of what to do, but I thought I would try Google Docs. Lo and behold a calendar option. I tried many variations, but these did not fit within the blog well. I kept on trying and voila there it was my solution. It’s short and simple, to the point, lists upcoming events, assignments, tests, etc. I have put it near the top so that as people view the page it should be one of the first things seen. Because it is not huge, I hope dial-up users won’t find it slow to load. I guess time will tell, but I think in an age of communication that values brief shorts snippets of info, that my “update calendar” will be useful.

Update to the blog

Update to the blog



1. stephen king - March 10, 2009

Hey Todd don’t give up on Twitter! I find new links everyday through the contacts I have made. I work on my list two or three days a week and try to add the equivalent of one person a day to follow. The more I follow the more I see of what others are writing about. I only “chat” to a few – more often than not I’m lurking and searching for new ideas. I just leave my computer on twitter (I use tweetdeck which is constantly updating) and just check it occassionally. I also read through the day’s tweets whenever possible.

Keep on writing. I enjoy your insights and feel your blogging is pushing me to do more.

2. handspiker - March 10, 2009

Thanks Stephen. Your comments have been fantastic and your insights have been both entertaining and enlightening. Don’t get me wrong I am not giving up on Twitter, just haven’t had the time to explore it thoroughly. When things calm down I am sure I will explore its true effectiveness.

Thanks for the hint on the title. Sometimes my fingers type faster than my mind and with my chubby fingers mistakes are quite common…lol.

3. gracemcleod - March 11, 2009

I really like the way your classroom blog is set up, it’s the first time I’ve seen it. I just started mine last week and you’ve given me some neat ideas. I’m using classblogmeister, do you think I would be able to put google calendar on it as well?

4. gracemcleod - March 11, 2009

P.S. I am going to add your classroom blog to my reader if you don’t mind. Thankx

5. Leanne - March 11, 2009

It sounds like your blog is a real hit with the parents – wonderful!!!

I did notice your opening statement though about wordiness — lately, I find myself tuning out to blogs that are incredibly lengthy. I agree that less is more and I personally, am more apt to read an article if the length is approachable. Just think of all those papers you’ve read in the past – honestly, don’t you sometimes go for the short, precise pieces first?

Keep up the great work and I’ll be sure to catch you on Twitter sometime!

handspiker - March 11, 2009

Hi Grace, for sure you can add me to Google Reader. As for Google Docs I don’t see why you could not add Google Calendar to your blog as well. It is simply like embedding any video, or any other application. There are three Calendars to choose from to let you know. The other two I found a bit lengthy and awkward looking for my blog. I chose the one I did for space and brevity. I am starting to really focus on the idea that less is more for a quick reference page.

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