Besides enjoying the warm, cozy house and baking chrysanthemum cupcakes, Mrs. Krebs also interviewed her blogs. She has two teacher blogs and around forty student blogs (with that number growing). Her blogs are a little over one year old, with hundreds of entries, and a little disorganized. She’s hoping the Edublogs challenges will help her focus…
When did you start?
It was a cold and snowy day in December, 2009. School was out of session, and that’s always a creative time for teachers. They are a creative bunch, and this one here, she can’t sit still and relax on an unexpected day off. Many blogs begin their lives on winter snow days in the upper midwest. (In fact, she interviewed me on the first snow day of 2011.)
How did you get started?
She had to go through lots of trial and error and asking for help from Sue Waters and all those willing folks at Edublogs. Actually, the first trial and error stuff happened back in October of 2009. (I just dug a little deeper into my archival drawers.) But it was that snowy day in December that she finally spent enough time on me to figure out what she was doing.
Why did you start?
When Mrs. Krebs hears about something, she wants to try it out for herself. She had a new exploratory class that was coming in the spring—it was going to be called “Publishing.” They were going to make a literary magazine and a yearbook full of junior high shenanigans and pictures and whatnot. She had been wanting to try blogging, so she threw blogging into her class too. I was happy to see it, because this is the 21st century, for Pete’s sake.
What is your most exciting moment?
Well, there have been many, many exciting moments during the past year. Let me list a few…
• The first post I got. That was back on October 17, 2009. That one was made by Mrs. Krebs.
• The first student post, back in January of 2010. That one was by Kelly, I believe.
• Then we had comments shooting back and forth all over that English room where we were meeting. That was exciting because the children were very engaged.
• There was that first post, late last spring that came from a student who was no longer in the publishing class, but he dusted off his password and logged on by himself to make a posting.
• It was an exciting moment when we got a Cluster Map, and then we could see where in the world people were looking at me—The Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Canary Islands and then folks in all those big continents too.
• When we got our first comments from other teachers and students, that was a really nice moment.
What would you do differently if you were to start today?
• I would have insisted she use tags on her blog entries. I think tags have lots of potential.
• Another thing, I would have reminded her how important each one of those names are as she was creating blogs. She didn’t need a blog named testblogscs, but that’s what she’s got now.
What kinds of posts do you get? What are your sources of inspiration?
The students and Mrs. Krebs usually become inspired with their writings and productions—poetry, essays, fiction, speeches, videos, etc. Mrs. Krebs always posts samples of assignments the students are going to do. Another inspiration comes when they find a new web tool (Glogster, Animoto, Wordle, Blabberize, etc.). They have fun posting the products.
What hints and tips can you give other bloggers?
One thing that Mrs. Krebs wasn’t prepared for is how her blogging habits would evolve. She started the blogs as e-magazines, a place to publish writing. However, blogging has so many more possibilities—classroom assignments, personal learning networks, student collaboration. She had only a small picture of how I could be used in her teaching. She hasn’t really figured out what her place is in the blogosphere, but she’s having fun trying. My suggestion for other beginners might be to have two blogs—one for teacher use and PLNs and a second blog for classroom assignments and to manage and moderate all the student blogs.
What are the future goals you have for your Edublogs?
Helping Mrs. Krebs figure out all my cool features and what she can do next.