I’ve been writing this post in my head for a week or so and it is nowhere near finished, but I need to get it out of the way to clear my brain, if you read this blog I don’t do too much reflection so this is an unusual post (apologies in advance for rambling).
I’ve been blogging with the children in Sandaig for over two years now. I started off with little knowledge of the edublogosphere, just wanted to bring a tool I’d found useful elsewhere into school. I’ve always been keen on children publishing and a blog seemed a good idea at he time.
As time went on I read other educators blogs and though about what blogging was doing in class. All the eduWeb2.0 ideas about audience, purpose etc made sense.
At first our blogs didn’t get too many comments, or they came in flurries, they were powerful aids to the whole process, real people (and a real poet) commenting on the children’s work valuing it and encouraging them. I didn’t think too much more about them, sometimes the children replied and got into short conversations, sometimes not.
A lot of this was limited by time, timetable and having 2 internet machines in the classroom. Occasionally we would get a real flurry of activity.
Recently Andy posted Help Wanted and started a scot-wave of comments, my class wrote some comments and got comments back from the Aberdeen guys and Andy himself. At the same time our fairy blogmother started some lovely conversations over at Sandaig Poets.
(most of this has been masterminded or loosely connected by Scots blog wizard Ewan)
This has been wonderful, but it brings up a couple of thoughts.
The comments by children here and by my children have been of a pretty good quality, the children are taking blogs a lot more seriously than say think.com, but as conversations develop it become harder to organise access and time. I don’t know if this would be easier with individual blogs that would be aggregated on a mother blog in a lab situation, but I’d like to try.
Keeping up conversations amoung 10 year olds will require a bit of support, I am having difficulty reading all the comments (need to check if PIVOT has a feed for comments, wordpress does), keeping up with my classes comments on other blogs hmm!
The more conversations children have the more interesting teaching points will come up. The problems with being public but not seeing facial expressions and body language have be pointed up in newsgroups, mail list and blogs. Today Ewan the most experienced scot-edu-blogger provided an example here and here, if adults have trouble understanding each other children will too. (This might not be a bad thing, think teaching point).
I keep saying we are only scratching the blog surface here, and am getting
a bit worried about interested in supporting it all as we are getting a bit deeper, practical examples of supporting long term conversations in a two computer primary classroom wanted?