Student blogging with Verona Gridley

Verona Gridley, classroom teacher at St Luke the Evangelist School has developed an excellent blog that acts as a resource for her students.

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Verona explains how she uses JuniorsJig with her students.

When our students reflect on what they have learnt in class, they are proficiently taking out some of their implicit understandings and clearly documenting it in the form of a blog. By both reading and commenting on others’ blogs, students start to learn from each other. A blog is a tool. It is a learning tool that can be tapped into by students, parents, and the global community.

Our Class Blog has enabled me to integrate all curriculum areas by promoting multiple literacies and skills. Through reflection on our discoveries and experiences we are able to share and deepen our understandings. It shows growth over time of our new learning, connecting with experts and finding out from broader sources.

There are growing connections with readers that show the great advantages of being part of a network and receiving feedback from contributors within a broader community. Our class has received feedback from all corners of the globe. When we received comments from beyond the school community a new digital dimension is opened. Overseas teachers, students and parents are taking the time to read our blog and leave meaningful and thoughtful comments.

Students are aware, that they are able to reach out beyond the schoolyard to share discoveries and experiences and in turn touch someone enough to leave a thought or offer a new perspective. Our young students can reach an authentic audience, that gives feedback and contributes new ideas and thus become part of a tangible global community.

I love the idea of students having a global and authentic audience and I believe that students take more care and effort with writing that will be read and commented on by a number of people. Congratulations Verona for providing this opportunity for your students as well as using your blog to communicate with parents and friends of the school.


As we know, students who can make a connection with their learning, are more likely to learn more. Things we are passionate about make the world of difference to the way we feel about learning. TakingITGlobal is a site that will help students really engage with learning.


TakingITGlobal explains its aims: is an online community that connects youth to find inspiration, access information, get involved, and take action in their local and global communities.

Looking at issues such as

  • culture
  • education
  • environment
  • globalisation
  • health
  • human rights
  • media
  • peace and
  • technology

there is a lot for students to discover. TakingITGlobal also provides resources such as

  • events
  • e-courses
  • opportunities
  • organisations
  • toolkits and publications

for regions such as

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Central America and Caribbean
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • Oceania and
  • South America

Anyone interested in joining can conveniently use their Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo (etc.) account to sign in. A special section, TakingITGlobal for Educators allows teachers to take their classroom global by:

  • participating in a global community of educators
  • access online resources and learning activities
  • create a safe, virtual interactive classroom.

However there is a cost for TakingITGlobal for Educators.

Steve Hargadon described TakingITGlobal founder Michael Furdyk as

the Co-founder and Director of Technology for, a global online community for young people, providing a platform for millions of youth across more than 200 countries to engage with social issues. Along with managing the technology team at TakingITGlobal, Michael was involved in developing the TIGed education program, and has spoken to over 50,000 educators about the importance of engaging students and integrating technology and global perspectives into the classroom. In 2008, he was named by Contribute Magazine as one of 10 Tech Revolutionaries Redefining the Power and Face of Philanthropy.

A LearnCentral session with Steve Hargadon and Michael Furdyk will be held at 10am on Friday 21st May (AEST)/Thursday 20th May 5pm (US/Pacific). An excellent site and a session well worth attending if at all possible.

Working Together 2 Make a Difference Program

Jenny Luca, the Head of Information Services at Toorak College in Mt. Eliza is part of an inspiring project that aims to change lives for the better.  Jenny writes, ‘Angela and Laura Stockman from New York State and I are working together to make a difference. We have created a ning site to encourage people to join us to collaborate to raise funds for worthy causes in the lead up to the festive season. Here is a link to a blog post I wrote about it.

Working together 2 make a difference

Working together 2 make a difference

‘We would love to see Australian educators join the ning site and help their students to see the difference that can be made when we pool our efforts and set out to do something good for others. Angela sent out the message below to people in her network in the United States. It explains the project and its motivation very well so I thought I would replicate it here. I hope you will consider showing this to your staff and joining the effort.’

Angela Stockman writes, ‘Last year my daughter Laura began an online service project called Twenty Five Days to Make a Difference.  Her premise was to promote service work by doing small things to make a difference throughout the year in her community. Blogging about them was her way of encouraging others to join her. To date, nearly forty thousand people have visited her blog, and hundreds of individuals, schools, and teachers have supported her work and begun their own projects as well. We’ve learned that blogging inspires our eleven year old to give back to her own community while forming safe and rewarding relationships online. We’ve also learned that the web is a powerful place for kids to do authentic and meaningful work when they are monitored by responsible adults.

25 days to make a difference

25 days to make a difference

‘This year, Laura is joining forces with Victorian teacher librarian Jenny Luca to launch a global effort. Jenny is a member of an international PLP community led by Will Richardson  and Sheryl Nussbaum Beach.  Jenny approached Laura last year and asked her to Skype into her Melbourne classroom so that her students could collaborate with Laura. Our friendship has grown from here.

Working Together 2 Make a Difference is an online community administered by Jenny and myself. Teachers and students from all over the world are invited to join this space and share what they are doing to make a difference in their own communities. Doing so will enable teachers and kids to network with others around the globe, support each other’s service efforts, and witness what happens when everyone works together “to make a difference.” Those who join will have tremendous opportunity to teach their students about internet safety, powerful ways to use the web, how a ning works, and what it means to make a difference locally and globally.

‘Please consider inviting your teachers and students to join us, and invite anyone else who might be interested in doing so. Feel free to contact me for more information or with any questions that you might have! Thanks. Angela.’