Social Connections in our Virtual Courtyard

Over the last few weeks we have watched with genuine excitement and joy as the children have ventured into the online classroom blogs.

Our first response as educators was one of celebration for the connections our children were able to re-ignite through this platform. A simple ‘hello’ carried with it the possibility of forming or strengthening connections and relationships in our prep neighbourhood. The children and their families were telling us that the loss of social connection with friends was the hardest thing for our learning community during this return to remote learning. We as educators of the newest and youngest learners at Princes Hill Primary School were only too aware of the important role socialising, connecting and collaborating plays in becoming a curious and invested life long learner. 

As more and more responses to each other’s learnings were posted, we began to further unpack the significance of this new addition to our learning. The potential of the blog as a system for learning began to reveal itself, a system of authentic peer to peer learning. A place for reflecting on learning, through the eyes of fellow learners. As we watched this unfolding we were reminded of a favourite quote of ours….


“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.”

John Dewey

Elspeth, I really love your book, I hope you make some more.      Pola

Children were now beginning to post more than a hello, they were making comments on the learning, encouraging each other and at times adding to the learning or reflecting on the learning.

Hi James, I love your experiment. It’s really cool and I want to try it.    Alice

Sharing science experiments

Hi Alice can you please tell me how did you make this. It’s a pretty good experiment so can you write it down or tell me how?     Zara

Lucienne, you know it’s called the message tree and….bye.    Franek

Message Tree

Clementine, I really liked your video, well done. Look at my video of the penguins, ok.    Sienna

Is that a worm or a centipede. I think it’s a centipede. They have poisonous when they bite. Watch out for centipedes in your garden!         Matthew

Where is that place, I’m really curious because if we are near it, I want to look. But I can see the city in the distance…….so which side of the city is it?      Flynn

Creating Curiosity with friends

Hey Axel where is that puddle spot?     Henry

Found the puddle

Hello Matthew. How are you? Thank you for teaching us Chinese, Japanese and Korean. 

Teaching different numbers

Henry- Good Job Axel, I want more of those.

Axel- Sure I’m going to think about what to do next.

Stop Motion

Hi Olson, I love your drawing your doing, great theory of doing what the tooth fairy did. I wonder if you can do more and post it on seesaw.   Chloe

Tooth Fairy Story

The math that you did on the puddle was very interesting. I’ve never been to the puddle but now I know that if you’re 7 or 8 they would take their steps and it would be 22 steps.   Miles

Measuring the Prep Puddle

We also began to notice a sense of pride emerging from the children when their learning experiences were chosen to be published on the blog or when a fellow classmate showed an interest in their contribution to the Neighbourhood blog.

Proud off…

We began to wonder about other potential impacts on our systems of learning the blog may hold. How could we continue to use this new system of learning upon our return to the physical Prep Neighbourhood? Could we begin to give our children more agency over the blog? Could they choose the content? Could this blog serve as a continuing platform for communication and collaboration of learning with families?