One idea that I consistently mention to schools who take on a Creative Blogs project is that of the Staff Development blog. To date, I don’t think anybody has taken my idea up. This is a shame, because I think that such a blog can be an inavluable tool for developing ideas and collecting resources.
How might it work?
One idea might be to make it a requirement that any member of staff who goes on an external INSET reflects upon that course and collects any links and references etc in a blog post. This has many obvious benefits including the saving of staff meeting time by negating the necessity of feeding back; providing an INSET record for the school; providing opportunities for colleagues to add their knowledge, suggestions and resources via comments. It also provides the staff member an excellent opportunity to reflect on the course after the event and to summarise the key points, a worthwhile exercise in itself.
Another idea is to put up details, presentations, handouts etc for INSET days, again, you’ll have a permanent record of what was covered and you will give staff an opportunity to respond.
Dave Stacey, a teacher from Wales posted this in advance of his INSET, in order to clarify his thoughts – a worthwhile reflective activity in itself. Then, having completed the day he posted the results of the conversation via a Wordle graphic.
This immediately threw up some interesting questions for me, for instance, why do the teachers at this school consider collaboration to be such a low priority? In this way conversations start.
Another example is this blog from an American High School (Arapahoe High School, referred to as AHS in the attached resources). Here I’ve linked to a specific post, as I think you may find the resources useful in your own INSET planning. http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2006/09/what-if.html
Again, my thanks to Dave Stacey for highlighting this blog.
I’d love to collect some more good examples of staff development blogs and would be grateful of any comments pointing me in their direction.
I’d also love it if some of the schools on Creative Blogs took up the baton and set up their own staff development blogs. Let me know if you do.