I am the Graphics teacher at Tamaki College and was given the role of being the EHSAS lead teacher. This was an unusual move as the project is Literacy based! At Tamaki College, I wanted the main hook for our students to be getting their work online for everyone to see.
I started with the main blog, TCTV, where the students filmed aspects of college life, edited it together and uploaded short videos and photographs. I got 3 main groups of students involved from Year 11, 12 and 13 to be the film and editing crews.
The English department then got involved and we were working to our literacy cycle ( as shown) to publish the work they had produced online. We started with 2 blogs, both with Year 9 classes 9RNi and 9TVu.
Gradually over the year, more departments came on board with the project, each with their own blogs, to publish the work of the students to a wider audience. All of these blogs are linked to from the sidebar of the main TCTV blog. By having high profile events published on TCTV to attract the students' attention, the hope is that they will then explore the links to their curriculum blogs on the sidebar!
To include other departments in an initiative which is clearly English focussed, we asked all departments to ensure that as they published student material written explanations were included alongside the digital learning objects. And we ask our students to use formal English when commenting on curriculum based blogs. In this way we are providing the students with authentic opportunities to read and write, in particular.
My goal for 2009 is to continue with the blogs that are already started while including more teachers who want to become involved. I also want to get more student interaction with the site, so they all see what is happening and can leave comments.
One of the good things in 2009 is that one of the Year 9 classes from last year are continuing with the same blog into Year 10. This will enable them to be tracked on a more long term basis to discover the impact this project is having on their English work.