Great Examples of Teacher Blogs

As you might be wondering how other teachers in the world use blogs to communicate with students and parents, here are some real world examples.  Take a look at how much content they have.  See how they categorize posts and pages on their site.  See what kind of media they include in their posts.

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Zimbra maintenance: 11/20/08 9pm-11pm

We will be installing updates (bug fixes) on the Zimbra email server tonight (11/20) starting at 9pm and ending at 11pm.  In past experience, this work has taken about 45 minutes, but be forewarned that it could take up to two hours.  Mail received during this period will be delivered to mailboxes when the server is back up.

Again, the email server will be back by about 11 pm.  Hopefully, running the upgrade in the late evening will avoid any inconvenience.

There were a lot of bugs fixed that only really matter to techies like us which we won’t bother posting.  This is a selected group of the bugs fixed which affected Zimbra users in our schools:

  • Sharing a folder and assigning the admin permissions on the folder now works correctly.  This should help with shared calendars delegated by the admin@district6.org user to building techs or people at schools managing calendars.  e.g. the D6 or CHS master calendar. (Fixed in 5.0.11)
  • The really annoying bug where clicking on a Spam Mail Summary could cause Internet Explorer to freeze.  (Firefox is still the best browser for Zimbra, but this should make IE at least usable. (Fixed in 5.0.11)
  • When you right-click the email content pane column header to modify the email view, disabling the Received column no longer disables the Inbox view. (Fixed in 5.0.11)

And a couple that were actually fixed in 5.0.10 but I think bear repeating:

  • Fixed issues with appointment reminder in Calendar that caused alert information about meetings to display at the wrong time. Reminders display correctly now.
  • Fixed issues in Zimbra Web Client – Clicking the From column in ZCS now sorts messages in the content pane correctly.
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Post like no one’s watching

From Eric Florenzano:

Whenever I tell people that I’m participating in this blog post per day event, most people begin laughing hysterically. Then the next thing that people typically do, unprompted, is to start making excuses as to why they don’t blog. Most of the time it is something like, “I don’t feel like I have anything important to say,” and sometimes it’s more like “I tried it but nobody was reading it, so I gave up.” These are valid reasons why someone shouldn’t blog.

But you shouldn’t make those excuses, and you should blog anyway.

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What’s blogging all about?

This is as new to us as it is to many of you, and we spent a lot of emails back and forth in the tech department trying to figure out the best way to promote communication via blogs in the school district.

Should we call it a Blog or a Weblog? Should we allow people to comment, or just turn it off altogether? And what in the world would a busy teacher want to do with one of these things, anyway?

I turned to this post from Sue Waters of The Edublogger:

One comment from Dai Barnes on this post suggests that a good blog should be both informative and relevant. It should also be updated regularly, so your readers (if you have any) have a reason to come back. Most importantly, I think, is his suggestion that that blogging should encourage comments and collaboration.

Another commenter pointed to the Web 2.0 for Principals wiki site for other information.  Some of their observations on school blogs are spot on in my opinion.  Another good one to read is WordPress’s Introduction to Blogging page.

Then again, if you really want to know what blogs are good for, just ask a 4th grader.

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Starting the conversation

Welcome to the new Central Point Tech Department weblog! Tomorrow, we are going to be working with some teachers from Central Point Elementary on getting their existing web pages and blog posts moved over to our brand new WordPress setup. All of us in the tech department have been working hard on this for about a week, and we’re all hopeful that this will be a tool for teachers that they can use to improve communication with parents and students.

We’re looking forward to getting a few more teacher blogs started tomorrow. Here are some of the teacher weblogs we’ve already set up:

Of course we are going to make an honest effort to use this technology for ourselves as well. We have already moved a couple of things over from our old web pages to this blog. We now have a page dedicated to Tutorials for Zimbra (our new email system) and a page showcasing some recommended free software that can be downloaded and used for free on your computer at school or at home.

That’s it for now. If you have any suggestions on things you’d like to see on this blog, feel free to jump in and leave a comment below!

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