KidBlog-Parent-400x235I follow a lot of amazing educators on Twitter. Individuals who regularly provide me with new ideas, reality checks, resources, and inspiration. Lee Kolbert, an education technology expert and 4th grade teacher from Florida, flicked on a lightbulb for me yesterday as I read an article she recently wrote for the Huffington Post.

Like me, she has been using with her students since last school year. We both believe in the value of providing students with a real world platform to share their writing, ideas, observations, and learning. KidBlog gives teachers and students a safe, controlled arena in which to practice, create, and publish content. This year, however, Mrs. Kolbert (@teachakidd on Twitter) is trying something new. She has created a special Parent account in her class KidBlog space, inviting the adults in her students’ lives to contribute their thoughts to the discussion. Recognizing what a brilliant idea this is, I jumped over to our class blogs and created a Parent account as well.

I’ll be sending information out this next week, inviting parents and family members to join in. With Mrs. Kolbert’s permission, I am posting an edited version of the letter she sent to her students’ families.

Dear Parents,

This school year your children and I have been blogging. We’ve been using the site to write and converse about what we’re doing in class, what we’re excited about, and what we’re learning. It’s a learning process which will help your kids to become stronger writers and more capable communicators. We will continue to talk about my expectations for them and what their readers will expect from them as well. It is exciting to see their posts go live on the Internet.

In addition to a blog for every student, I’ve created a blog account called “Parent.” I’d like to offer an opportunity for YOU to blog too. Wait! Before you hit REPLY with “YES, I’m in!!” I’m thinking that you can take turns. You can write and I can post it for you (after you email it to me) OR I can give you the username and password and you can go at it. So, what will you write? ANYTHING from the point of view of a parent. Here are some ideas:

  • Your take on how the year is going so far.
  • Your vision on how school will look in five years and why.
  • How school was “way back” when you went to school vs. how things are today?
  • About a teacher who made a big impact on your life.
  • About a great tool you found on the Internet that you think others might like, too.
  • Found a way to get your kids to do their homework without a fuss? Share it!
  • Have you visited, or are you from, another country and have a different perspective that you can share?
  • What do you think about blogging?

I have more ideas but hopefully these will get you thinking. Each post can be as short as you like, but not much longer than 500 words. The way it will work is that when you write something, you (or I) will sign it with “posted by Sally’s Mom or Dad or Aunt or Grandpa.” (Since the one account will always read as “Parent,” we’ll need to identify the author AND we’ll stick to our “no last names” policy.)

Sweaty palms? Obviously this is voluntary but I do hope you will participate.

If you are interested, please let me know. I promise it will be painless and you’ll be glad you did it.

Mr. Cosand

I am excited to hear what you have to say. If you’d like to participate as a Parent Blogger, please contact me by my school email or through our class Twitter account.