Thursday, June 9, 2011

What's In A Name?

I am trying to set up a classroom blog where I can start to update students and families about things over the summer.  Eventually I would love for the kids to take over the blog.  Once the school year gets started I see it as a place for absent students, parents, and local people that we are working with on projects to find out what is going on at school on a day to day basis.  I think the posts will be relatively short and include a variety of media types.  I don't know if it will be necessary to have it obvious that a lot of different people are posting or if there should just be one general author name that is actually many different students.  I anticipate that the students (at least some) will start their own personal blogs to go into more depth on specific learning experiences and their reflections.

I have looked into several platforms, and I think I am going with Tumblr., although I like the ease of having multiple people work on a Posterous blog.  If you have experience with either of these platforms, I'd love to hear what you think about them.

Here is my bigger question.  What do I call the thing?  The obvious: Ms. Smith's Classroom Blog or something more inclusive?  The whole point of this school is to create a student directed, individualized learning environment.  Does plastering my name on everything take away from the community feeling I am trying to create?  Would a 'house name' (it is my understanding that Griffindor is already taken) say to students and visitors "This is a student-centered learning environment?" more so than using my name?  Or would using a house name create unnecessary confusion?  (Wait, which ridiculous, made up word is my child a part of again?)

The blog is what is forcing me to make this decision, but I am thinking about an entire vocabulary switch.  Why should only my name be on the door?  Why should students say "I am in Ms. Smith's class" instead of "I am in the Tiddlywinks".  (I am a Tiddlywink?)

Also, if I do have a group name, I don't want to choose the name.  If the whole point is to give the kids ownership, it would be dumb for me to pick a random word or non-word to use.  (The Caffeines?  The Penguins?  The Heffalumps?)  But, as afore mentioned I want to get the blog going before the beginning of the school year - so what do I go with now?

Of course - I could be over thinking things a bit.  Thats always a possibility as well :)

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