Sunday, January 24, 2016

Communication in a Digital Era

If you are reading this, you have found my blog and know that it is one of many ways I share all the wonderful things that are happening at Blue Heron with our parents, staff, and community. However, did you also know that my blog has become a fun and easy way for me to connect with our students? No? Well, if that is the case, then I encourage you to check out the comments section in some of my past blogs and witness digital citizenry in action.

Our upper elementary students have taken to blogging with the help of their creative classroom teachers and our technology savvy digital teacher librarian, Mrs. Hohman. Many of them have blogs they use to share their writing with one another and the teacher. In class, they learn how to be digital citizens and not upload inappropriate posts or comments online. They also sometimes send me feedback and ideas via the comments section of my blog posts. Every few weeks, my inbox has been filling with comments from students. At first, I couldn't figure out how it was happening since I disabled the comments section on my blog. Then I remember how crafty Mrs. Hohman is and I suspect she played some role in what I thought was mischief. I was right about the first part: Mrs. Hohman figured out a way to allow only current students to comment on my blog posts without hacking into my account. (Parents, if she can do this, I think it's safe to say you will know right away if your children are posting anything remotely inappropriate online during the school day.) However, I was wrong about the second part. I soon discovered that students weren't trying to play tricks on me, they were trying to engage with me--and they had some great ideas and points to make! Our students comments and feedback help me reflect on what is important to them, which in turn helps me continue to advocate for what they want and need each and every day. Their comments are classy. Their ideas are innovative. Their questions are thought provoking and their humor and joy reminds me of why I got into this profession what feels like ages ago.

So to the Blue Heron students who are reading this right now . . . go ahead and send me a comment. I welcome the dialogue.