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Collaborating to support learning using Blogger

Tags: Distance learning | English | Learning languages | Blogging | Social media | Primary | Upper primary |

Students from Melville Intermediate School used Blogger to share their development of te reo Māori and receive feedback.

"In our school, decisions about appropriate use of digital technologies are made collaboratively with students."
eLPF 2014

Teaching and learning

Setting up a class blog

The teacher chose Blogger as a blogging tool because he had used it before and was familiar with its features. He used a blog he had set up the year before rather than creating a new class blog. This meant he could make the most of the visitor traffic that the blog already had. 

The teacher ran a class brainstorm to come up with possible content for the blog. He asked questions such as:

  • What is the purpose of our blog?
  • What would you like to see on our class blog?
  • What will our audience find interesting?

Creating a Mihi

A school-wide expectation at Melville Intermediate was that every student would learn and perform a mihi for their portfolio. See Ka Mau te Wehi for support material.

Steps students and teachers took to create a mihi:

  • Staff with expertise in tikanga Māori supported colleagues to explore the cultural appropriateness of these practices.
  • Exemplars were shared and criteria for mihi were established.
  • Students created and shared their mihi with a peer.
  • Students were given the option of sharing their mihi with a wider audience through video.

Uploading mihi to the class blog and promoting to the class networks

The teacher:

Comments on the post were received from around the world.


The students:

  • became increasingly aware of the importance of audience
  • became more reflective in their work
  • found it extremely empowering to receive feedback from sources other than their teacher, resulting in increased confidence and motivation in other curriculum areas
  • were engaged and motivated, evident from their written feedback
  • gained further incidental learning, particularly in relation to geography, through regular checks on the origin of visitors to the blog
  • benefitted from increased connections between the home and school via the blog as they shared it with their whānau and encouraged them to leave a comment.

Next steps

The teacher assisted other staff within the school to set up their own classroom blogs. It was hoped that this would result in further collaboration between classes, and generate a greater network of support and sharing. The teacher intended to explore more ways to promote the class blog to their wider school community, for example, by holding information evenings to support whānau in accessing the blog.

Read these snapshots to find out how Movie Maker and Skype were used and incorporated.