Monday, September 1, 2008

Edublog Talk

I Blog, Therefore I Am

Read Student and Teacher Blogging that Succeed.

Now that we've started exploring the edublogging world, let's openly discuss possibilities for the classroom, fears, interests, challenges.

Please, share with the group your experiences and reflections on blogging here.

Food for thought:

Have you ever blogged? What has your blogging experience been ?
How do you envision blogging in the 21st century classroom?
What are the main challenges for edublogging?
Is blogging still too vague of a concept for you? Why?


An account of educators who had just started blogging:


sandrav said...

I was amazed to listen to the teachers saying that the their "new" experience with blogging has been working well. I haven't been so lucky with my groups. I've created a blog for 3 of my classes, an adult group and 2teenager ones. The students in the adult group were very excited with the idea. We took photos for the blog, I wrote welcome notes, messages, comments and so on. A couple of students opened the blog at first to read (one even wrote a 1 line comment) , but that was it. I kept telling them to try, but they just "forgot" to do it, or had no time, or even kept promising to do it, but never did.
With the tenagers I tried a different approach. I asked volunteer students, which was hard to find, to create a blog for the group. The volunteers did a pretty good job, they put a cartoon, the group picture I e-mailed them, etc. But that was it, the other students never participated. Their excuse was that they don't have time, and they already have Orkut for social interactions.
I agree with the teacher in the video that said it is great to receive comments and answers to your postings. I think that's exactly what discouraged me. No matter how much I tried to encourage them to respond , they didn't ,it wasn't something natural, something they really wanted to do. In the end I had no motivation to add anything to whatever I had done before and eventually stopped writing.
So I believe that to get students engaged in the blog is the real challenge of edublogging. I can see that blogging is an extremely interesting tool to enrich our classroom material and to connect with the group providing interaction. Nevertheless,to envision blogging in the 21st century classroom, we teachers need to "train" our students to be part of the process and to understand that their commitment with learning needs to change from passive to active. By doing so we will make them more independent and resposible learners.

Victor Botelho said...

Anonymous said...
Sandra, I had the same problem with two of my classes a couple of years ago. My students wrote some comments on the first day of classes and that was it. No more posts were sent. I believe that making teenagers use bloggs is easier than making adults use them Why? Well, first of all teens have more time to dedicate to reading and writing. Second, they are more involved with technology, therefore they know more about it than most adults. Finaly, they don't have to work in front of a computer all they long.
I am going to try a new strategy with some of my classes this semester. I am going to assign some activities on the blog only.That is, if the student wants to know what the activity is, he or she will have to visit the blog. What do you think? I am waiting for your reply.

September 29, 2008 4:02 PM

Lilian Marchesoni said...

Although I have never created a blog for any class, I do share the same beliefs of Sandra and Victor when they say it's hard to get students involved and actively participate... I have heard lots of comments from colleagues, and I believe it's not only hard for students to have the time to read and send posts, but the teachers also have a hard time to keep on motivating students ...

I created a blog last July in order to share the templates of games I have developed and presented in the CTJ seminar. Well, I know lots of people have accessed and used the games, but I have never received one single comment! And I asked the users to send me feedback as they used the resources... But I myself didn't include any other post either...

I guess I'll try to create a blog for a class, and I liked Victor's idea of assigning activities through the blog... That might "force" students to participate!

patricia said...

I think that my fear of trying to blog is that the result of a lot of work would be - nothing. Sometimes we don't have enough time to do what we need to do for class, when will we have the time to blog? Will our students respond? I have this picture of me blogging to emptiness. A suggestion, though, to encourage students to participate in blogging is to somehow make an activity that gives each student a piece of the whole, a question they must answer, for example. They could work on their answers at the Mall, and post them and the answers together would tell a story but they could only see the whole if they access the site at home. Or maybe you could set up a space for the most interesting comment or question in class with the date and the student's name and keep it updated. Maybe the secret is to keep adding something new - a song, a comment, a picture, an explanation, a challenge - and comment on it in class to pique curiosity. In every case, you'd give them a chance to comment or react- at the beginning you could have them just check or rate with stars, then have them complete sentences. Maybe after a while some would get into the habit of checking the page to see what's new and adding a comment. Don't know if it would work, and it seems like a lot of work on the teacher's part, but who knows. . .

GilMattos said...

It is really intereting and enriching. I get fascinated when I start to read all the comments and the fact that people do get integrated here. I have not started using it with any of my groups yet but this is something I want to try very soon. As some of you have posted here we must be aware that not everybody may buy the idea. We'll always have those students and even colleagues for whom nothing or very few new things might sound interesting and worth the try. This has always been part of our jobs and the secret now is find (again) a way to bring as many people as possible to such a fantastic experience. Hope to read even more about successful experiences and how to survive frustrations that might eventually happen.