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QuadBlogging – From birth to first steps…

QuadBlogging as a concept was born only to help a school in Blackpool which was engaging in blogging but not pulling in the audience that my school (Heathfield Primary School, Bolton) was achieving. Less than a year ago, I returned home from Blackpool, sat down at my desk once my little girl had gone to sleep and began to think about how schools that had an established blogging culture could help schools that were making the very first steps into blogging.

For those that blog, the beginning few weeks/months can be a lonely place! It takes time to build an audience and during this time, I have seen many schools, pupils and teachers lose interest resulting in the blog failing. Within 24 hours of returning back from Blackpool, I had contacted two other keen bloggers to see if they were up for helping this Blackpool school out and enter an informal agreement to visit their blog on a cycle basis. After giving this further thought, the four schools were named a ‘Quad’ and the cycle was then named ‘QuadBlogging’. It was quite simple. Each week a different school would be the focus and the other three schools would ask their pupils to visit that particular school. Each of the following three weeks would see each of the remaining schools being the focus school and the others directing their pupils to those blogs.

I published this Google Presentation which outlined when the cycle dates would change and off we went:

The very night I published this presentation, a further 5 teachers expressed an interest in signing up to something similar. I gave this some thought and created a sign up form. Over the next 3 weeks, roughly 10 schools signed up. For each Quad, I created a new presentation and published it. I was increasingly having to stay up later and work further into the night to keep on top of things. However, the feedback I was getting and the difference it was seemingly having on pupils was actually quite moving. I got to the stage where after a couple of cycles (8 weeks) I needed a rest and it was quite obvious that should I re-launch, something needed to change to make the running of the project easier to manage.

I spent about three months thinking about this and over the summer of 2011, re-launched QuadBlogging through its own blog: http://QuadBlogging.net

The difference this time was for each Quad, there would be a Quad Co-ordinator. My thinking was that as educators, we had a common goal – to make a difference. I was taking a risk but was certain that some of the people signing up would like to take an additional role of responsibility and Co-ordinate a Quad. Co-ordinating a Quad would mean contacting the other three Quad members and through Twitter/Email etc agree dates for the cycle to start and rotate. I was shocked to see that over half of all the people signed up to QuadBlogging offered to be a Quad Co-ordinator.

Launch date of the new look QuadBlogging project was September 1st 2011. Currently (October 2012) QuadBlogging has around 450 classes from 300 schools in 16 countries signed up to 70 Quads. That’s roughly 15,000 pupils from across the globe!

I honestly have no idea how big QuadBlogging will become over the next 12 months, but from someone who entered teaching purely because he wanted to make the difference that his teachers didn’t make on him, a difference is being made!

If you want to sign up to QuadBlogging, it’s free, easy, quick and will add a global dimension to your classroom both physically and virtually.

QuadBlogging – Connecting pupils through Quads

13 Comments

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  1. Bill @theeducast
    October 9, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    The birth of an original take on a phenomenon that will serve to benefit teachers, students and the schools involved.
    Dave, you deserve a commendation for giving everyone this opportunity to participate in what is not only collaborative learning, but collaborative support and whole school community involvement.
    The greatest way to improve schools has to be through joint ventures of institutions that share ideas, achievements and failures, so that important lessons can be learnt and implemented by all, and for the greater good!
    Definitely gets my vote! Keep up the good work!

    Bill @theeducast

    • David Mitchell
      October 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

      Thanks Bill, I hope QuadBlogging does what it says on the tin but also opens educators’ eyes to the potential of blogging. As Local Authorities are vanishing, sschools will need to look out of their catchment with wide open eyes to see what is going on elsewhere and the pupils deserve an audience, a global one at that!

      David

  2. Pam Thompson
    October 9, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    David, I am so pleased that Quadblogging has become such an amazing success. Before we know it it will be an entry in the Oxford English dictionary 🙂 You have done a great service to blogging as I’m sure that there are many bloggers out there who may have become discouraged with a lack of audience. We have participated in two quadblogs now and have enjoyed them both. Thank you for all of your hard work and commitment.

    • David Mitchell
      October 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

      Thanks Pam, I absolutely love doing this and making things happen for other student and teachers. So many teachers have just got a blog and expected everything to happen and as you know…blogs take a while to develop in terms of audience. As a result, they ditch them before the audience arrives. I just hope that more teachers expose their pupils to blogging through this project. Thanks for leaving a comment!

      David

  3. Mike Mr. Elliott
    October 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    As seems to be mentioned wherever I go, I have stolen most of, if not all my blogging ideas from your good self! I’m glad quadblogging has taken off so well and long may it continue! Ifyou ever need assistance with managing it let me know

    Cheers for the inspiration

    Mike

    • David Mitchell
      October 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

      Hi Mike, thanks for leaving a comment. There’s no such thing as stealing here! 😉

      Thanks for your offer of assistance, I just hope the QuadBlogging movement grows to a point where I might need help. That would be great!

  4. Kimberley Rivett
    October 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    We have loved quadblogging – such a great and easily manageable idea. Thanks for sharing your vision and running with it!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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