Sunday, October 12, 2008

Blogging Away

We are already finishing the Week on RSS, but it's just a supplement to blogging. It's what brings everything together in a customized way. I've been enthusiastically following participants' comments in each others' blogs, and it's going stronger than ever.

learningneverends (39)

This might be the ideal way to get started. You start checking blogs, start adding comments, your views. Then, you consider your own blogging ways, your own style, tone, voice. You get more confident to even give it a try with your learners.

If it's still not the moment, you let it marinade, keep posting to reflect upon your own learning in order to find momentum to give it a try in your classroom.

Some have already been blogging. For example, Ana Albi had already started her Teachers' Development Course blog and the result you can see by yourselves. Cecília, who makes a point in saying that she's not into tech, has just started with a wonderful post to her students and even got a nice reply from her student. Exciting the first time you get a comment, isn't it? Patrícia Fleury has just had so many engaging posts and she shows how the grammar topic could be a great one for blog discussion. No, Pat, your thoughts will never lose their nutritional value on a blog. Quite the oppostite, in fact. It just adds your voice on topics which are dear to you and sometimes we don't have time to discuss. Lueli has also created a blog for her advanced grammar classes and has just created a wonderful playlist. Victor is getting ready to give blogging a second chance.

I'm pretty sure Marina Brazil is a visual learner and this is clear on her blog. She has already created slideshows and added appalling videos. Certainly a box of tricks there. Talking about a treasure of wonderful resources, Kelly always has an interesting widget or webtool to talk about on her blog. Thanks, Kelly, for your precious contributions.

I knew Cleverson was crazy about sitcoms and the 70s. Blogging is certainly one of the ways that we show who we really are, what our styles are. Take a look at his finding, a snippet of "Escrava Isaura" with subtitles in English! This is the Web!

Pat Faustino is all about culture and the cultural aspects of her own Bolivian background. I find it fascinating the possibilities blogging gives to raise cultural awareness and tolerance, to show how the different peoples live, their traditions, thoughts, food. Thanks, Pat, for the wonderful gastronomic trip. Besides, Pat has just published a fantastic Bubbleshare with her basic students.

, Marina Couri, Lilian, and Chris Moisés have also embraced the challenge and have already created blogs for their classrooms. They all think in anticipation, "OK, now what? The blog is there, but how will I motivate my students to be there with me?"

Maria da Luz
talks a bit of the place she's living now. Gabi has this wonderful last sentence on her first blog post in Blogger,
"I don't think computers are addictive , learning is addictive."
Ana Luisa reports her journey of successes and struggles. Through her writing, I can picture the scenes she mentions. I just loved the one of the "panick attack"!

Daniela Meyer and Gilmar inspire us! Daniele is pure poetry. Talking about inspiration, he's always with us, commenting, chatting and blogging. Dennis is certainly a true example of a passionate educator to all of us, as well as Mary Hillis and Cris Costa, believers of the transforming power of education.

Vinicius started in his hip hop excitement already featuring himself on a YouTube Video. Great!
As mentioned before in our audio chat, there's no formula. In blogging, we find our tone, our voice, our audience, our niche.

We need to find our own purpose. It needs to add value to you and your learners. It's not about doing it because it's cool. Yes, for me, it's cool, but it's about connections, conversations, expanding horizons in ways never imagined before.

Just some quick reminders for new bloggers:

  • If you get comments, comment back. Blogging is establishing a dialogue, not a unilateral act. If readers are saying something, interact with them.
  • If you are blogging in English, have your whole blog in English. To edit this setting, just go to your dashboard(where you can see your blogs and edit their settings), . There, on the top right of the page (once you're signed in), you'll see "language". Just change it to English. Another way is just to visit your blog, on the top right, you'll see "customize". Click there and then "dashboard".
  • Pay attention to the title of your posts. Now that you have an idea of RSS, when you add a blog to your Google Reader, certainly the title of a post is what will attract you to read the whole post or not. Grab your readers' attention just like we ask our students to do when they're writing a composition!
  • Start adding the tag webtools4educators in your posts. And check the magic in technorati, a blog, tag aggregator!
  • Remember to use blogging as a learner-centered space. How could you do it? Think of ways to let learners opt, have their own voices, and create content.

As Elaine sums up, "See you around in one or two clicks"! Blogging is connecting, learning.

I'm still breathless with so much enriching interaction taking place in this fantastic group. Thanks for daring and delving into this Web of learning.



How wonderful this wrap up is. It has the essence of everybody's blog. I see how we are unique and joined by our blogs.

GilMattos said...

Carla...I guess I had not had the chance to say I am very (over???) emotional as well. I must admit I finished reading your summary tearful. You ARE really what an Educator should be. Thank YOU very much for all the doors you have been opening for all of us.May God bless us all and keep this flame alive so we too can share with others.

Lilian Marchesoni said...

It was so nice to read about everyone's blogs and see how different they are, but at the same time how each one of us is struggling to contribute and to grow!
What can I say? Less than a month ago I had a blog... There was just one post, it was made only to make my games available... Now, I have one more and I'm trying hard to work on the two, posting my
e-reflections and trying to motivate students to participate in this cyber-space...
I can say that you really are an inspiration!

Carla Arena said...

@Kelly @Gilmar @Lilian I'm sure you all find your own blogging ways. As I mentioned before, I was trying to show here the many ways we can aggregate, share and bring together ideas. Our students also need modeling to make blogging happen. We cannot think they will simply be naturally motivated to blog. They need to be inspired, they need to see meaning and value in it. They need to feel like being there, and not that sense that it is one more "task" they have to perform...

As Gilmar said, let's keep the flame and irradiate transformative ideas all around!

Thanks for being here, for believing that we can make a difference.

ceciliacarneiro said...

I' m really greateful for what I've been learning, and you've been a great teacher.
Yes! I really enjoyed getting the reply from my student.


Carla Arena said...

@Cecília You might consider adding your students as authors of the blog so they can write posts. You can give them a task, and maybe ask for volunteers. You could make it as simple as having one volunteer a week to write "the post of the week". Do you think it could work with your group?

Oh, by the way. I added a video to Marina's group that your group might profit from and even connect with Marina's group. Take a look at