Monday, April 10, 2006

Blogs Away...

I received Will Richardson's Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts... 2 days ago and found it to be such an informative and easy read that I'm ordering a few more to spread around campus.

In the meantime I've prepared an introduction for teachers - here are the slides (the narrated version is too big to link) showing how these Web 2.0 apps relate to our new curriculum. We have a whole staff session on these after Easter...

I've linked each of the tools to our new Values, Purposes and curriculum organisers. Since the curriculum was designed to meet the needs of 21st century learners it's not surprising that many of the tools they are using easily link to the new curriculum.

On my school blog I've been experimenting with different kinds of posts modelling some things for students at the same time. This is the first year I have pushed blogs strongly with my classes - they can opt out but most are posting. For some, posting has come easily while others have moved tentatively from one word "Hi" to a sentence and more recently to paragraphs.

Some highlights have been students receiving international comment 5 mins after posting and one girl who danced excitedly around the room doing high-fives after she had 30 people read a poem she had posted. Evidence of higher order thinking and reflection in their blogs is still sparse but I'm optomistic I'll see more after the Easter break.

Something that has worked well has been an online (campus-only) publication 'jescador' where my journalism class used our portal (MS Sharepoint) to glue together headers from stories posted in their blogs. In this way the publication went out as a whole while preserving the ability for readers to comment on individual stories and for the authors to keep a tally on the number of views for each story. Pretty neat.

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