Teacher, Nicki Fielder and students from Apiti School explain the different social media tools they use to connect with parents and the wider community. These are all housed within a Weebly and have been selected for specific purposes. They include:
Nicki Fielder: We connect with our community on a number of different levels. It starts off with the Apiti School Weebly which is our website which is sort of our umbrella system I guess that houses everything and has a number of different portals from it. These include the school newsletter, the Apiti School students’ e-portfolios, our pages like celebrating our successes and all the links and information that go with that.
Nicki Fielder: Where we’ve chosen wiki spaces for our e-portfolios because we can create a series of pages, we’ve chosen to use a blog to celebrate writing. The reason for this is because each new bit of writing can be put on top and it’s cumulative and it’s really specific with the writing focus. The student e-portfolios are all open to the public so parents and community can look in at any time and celebrate the progress of students. And so, as a result, parents often pop in and look at the progress and look at the next step for their students and share it with whānau and interested parties. There’s one page that is not open to anybody and that’s the record keeping page because that often has data on it so therefore it’s personalised so that parents only can access it and choose who sees it. There are two roles that the portfolio plays, one is reporting, and the other is sharing progress and achievement.
Hannah: Well, I use my wiki space for reflections, for events and stuff. We put our goals and achievements and that kind of thing on there and if we’ve done camps or sports events we always put a picture of how we’ve done in it or our reflections so everybody can see it. Since my parents can see it all, they can ask questions about it and we all know what we’ve done online because we’ve put it there and we can just flick onto whatever it is and talk to them about it.
Ben Pratt: The e-portfolios are a good conversation starter with your children. If you’ve seen some of their work on the Internet you can comment to them while you’re driving in the car to town or something and have a discussion around the work that they’re doing and really be involved with their schooling activities.
Nicki Fielder: One of the huge benefits of using e-portfolios to record for students is that students can record voice, they can take movies, they can make PhotoPeaches. And so students can embed real learning, as well as their successes that are digital.
Hannah: Well the kids are learning a lot about movie making and everyone’s having a go at it. Some of the things that everyone’s made are really, really cool and we’ve decided that a YouTube channel to put all of our movies on and the videos are going to the digi awards so they’re going to be seen. We also on our YouTube channel, we put some learning videos.
James: Well we read to the computer and then upload it to YouTube and put it on the wiki so that we can see how our reading is going.
Hannah: And then their parents and anyone can watch it and they can comment on what they think they have done well, and what they are getting better at and the kids feel quite proud of themselves having something on YouTube that is reflecting on what they’ve done.
Hannah: It’s just knowing that your parents are actually looking at your work, it makes you feel proud of yourself and if your parents comment things like, “You’ve done this really well, maybe you could do this next time,” the kids normally really take it on board.
James: It’s helps me with my next story.
Brooke: It’s good because I know that they are involved with my learning.
Hannah: My Mum works in town so she’s really busy and she thinks it’s a good idea because when she’s at work in town she can flick onto the blogs and that kind of thing and look and she can comment and read my things.
Nicki Fielder: No matter who you are as part of our Apiti School community, you can be part of your child’s learning.