So, I was sitting in our weekly Tuesday morning staff meeting about two weeks ago and a conversation about our school newsletter came up. I’m not even sure exactly how the newsletter came up or what we were talking about at that time. One thing I do remember though was something that my principal said and it was a little something on along the lines of, “I don’t even know if people actually read that thing.” At the time I thought, if we don’t think people are reading it how can we engage our school community in what’s happening in our school? Then the staff meeting was over and in a very short about of time a bathroom break, fresh cup of coffee, stop at my mailbox, double check of my daily plan, time to turn on the SmartBoard and get the daily schedule up was needed! Then the best part of my day, wait at the door for the kids to come in! That thought from the staff meeting? It hasn’t totally disappeared but it’s nowhere near the front of my mental to do list by this point! I hadn’t given it another thought until class on Tuesday night this week.
When Alec shared about the principal from Chicago who shared his school story through video with the help of his students. What was his name? I went back through my notes, yes I was one of those ones taking hand written notes in a notebook! No luck though, I hadn’t written it down! In come the class recordings, so happy we can go back and revisit moments that grabbed our attention. It didn’t take long to discover that Tony Sinanis (@TonySinanis) was the man behind the idea that brought that staff meeting thought back to me! I took to social media to find Mr. Sinanis and check out what they have been up to and if they are still using their video updates. A quick YouTube search and I was able to see their latest update, from three days ago!
How can you not be excited about hearing an update from those smiley faces!
I think a project like this is absolutely something we could do at our school! I work in K-8 school of about 530 kids. Surely we are going to be able to find some students who would be interested in taking part whether it be sharing, recording or editing. Working together on a team we would be able to share all of the awesome things happening at MacNeill School (@macneillrps)! As part of an education week initiative this year we had many of our classrooms joins the twitterverse and I think this would be a great way to create even more connections. I approached my principal on Wednesday with the idea and she jumped right on board. We have one work day left this week and then are off for a week on our February break. We decided we would take some time to brainstorm, create a plan over that week and touch base when we get back.
My plan over the week break is to do some searching for other schools that have tried this and hopefully find a space where they have shared their successes and areas for improvement.
Right now some questions I have moving forward are:
- Is there a website/tool that we could use to create easy video recording and editing. I would like to have the students involved and doing as much as possible.
- What grades?
- How many students will we need?
- Will we do this weekly/bi-weekly or monthly?
- What is do-able in terms of time?
- What are some of the privacy guidelines that we will need to follow?
- I have always been a believer that placing students photos online is OK, with parent permission of course but have never connected a students face to their name. I see in a few of the videos that I have checked out that students introduce themselves using their name. Are we OK with this? Will our division Media Release cover this?
- What kinds of parental consent will be needed?
I am sure as I do more searching over the next week I will develop even more questions and I will share the journey of this project here with you!