Building the Network


As I was sitting at my desk through P/T interviews last night (conferences for those who prefer that term), during a break I was doing my usual practice of marking student work.  Yes, I am a principal and still teach.  That’s the way it is in rural Sask. and that’s OK. 

I had my laptop there so I could show the parent’s the breakdown of their child’s mark with our fancy program.  Parent’s seem to like this as it is clear concise info. 

While I had the chance, I began to show off the class blog.  I discussed it’s purpose, etc. and even discussed of how I was trying to “break the mold” of the traditional HS teacher.  We listened to the embedded Voicethread, where she listened to her son’s comment on an issue.  Overall, she seemed impressed and thought the practice was valuable.  I encouraged her as a parent to visit and comment, and also help spread the word.  I need to collect my parent’s emails and send a direct message to promote the blog.  Why did I not do this earlier????? Ugh!

Actually, many parents out here do not have emails, or do not use them.  Many folks here live on farms and can only get dial-up service, hence long loading times, time-outs, much to their chagrin.  Come on SaskTel!

I broadcasted the blog in a memo home, as I know most parents get these.  No comments yet, but hits (I think).

Anyways, keep on moving forward, bit by bit.  Want to leave a comment on an issue and let my students see that people, from all over, can visit the blog?  Check out the Law 30 blog as linked above.

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  1. I wish that my parents would comment more to their children’s blogs. I think the students would love to hear from their parents. I was surprised at the last parent/teacher conference when more than half of the parents told me they visited the blog regularly. I’d like to get all of the parents to visit frequently to find out what we’re doing in class.

  2. Rural Sask is an additional burden because of dial up isn’t it. I like your solution although the real power will come when the infrastructure is in place for high speed. I know around our cities a few companies have picked high hills to offer towers with high speed to our rural residents but the cost is enormous.
    I still find that only about 30 percent of our children in my community school have access, and usually half of those computers are broken.
    Too many P.C’s, not enough Macs. 🙂
    Can I ask a question about your staff? Do they need to or allowed to bring their own machines into your school? If so. maybe they can help spread the message about your blog to their parents to as a vision of “what’s to come”…..

    • Dave Bircher
    • April 25th, 2008

    I only have one staff member who has a laptop, others have machines at home.

    They can bring their machine and get on our network.

    Update: Edtech is trying to get laptops for teachers for the school’s getting new rollouts this year, based on our school’s recommendation. Sounds like central office is balking at it a bit even though only $200 more/machine. Wait and see…..

    • Holly
    • May 21st, 2008

    It can be frustrating when parents/community members do not have regular access. What about bringing access to them? Keep on sending home your newsletters (highlighting, naturally, what they might find on the blog were they to check it out), but, the next time you have parent/teacher interviews, or a community event, open up the computer lab with the blog front and center. Allow them to explore, make comments, etc. If it is a very small community (and a moderately public blog), you could make stickers (to post on the tower, or the top of the screen) with the blog’s address (cuts down on people having to remember), or make a little sign to be posted near the computer. You might want to include a reminder to reply. This could be deployed wherever it is community members are using computers – the school, the library, a community access centre, wherever. And collect those emails… you never know when people will have access and not have thought to check it out! Good luck!

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