I was talking to a colleague in another primary school recently. They mentioned that a cpd opportunity in blogging had been offered round in their staff-room, the reaction from the staff was along the lines of that is all very well but we have real work like spelling to get through.
I am a wee bit worried about this, and unfortunately I doubt the message is going to get through very quickly via cpd. A/the problem is that folk seem to think blogging is out with the normal day to day curriculum when it could be an enhancement to it.
A less than best practice example: this week I did a couple of sessions of McRone cover in our two primary seven classes. As it was only the second week of term, I just did my own thing rather than follow the class routine. I decided to do a wee poetry lesson using a basic template to get the class started blogging. The lesson turned out to be about a lot more than blogging. We started by reviewing nouns, verbs and adjectives and introduced antonyms, we discussed powerful vs weak words, the importance of audience and getting our spelling right.
The children wrote poems and blogged some of them on Sandaig Poets, things got a bit frantic and some spelling mistakes were made, eek! Poems were blogged, and over the next couple of days, thanks to Ewan‘s linkage, and comments from Bob, Andy, Neil and Steve, the children’s interest was maintained.
I popped back into one of the classes later in the week (my own macrone) for a follow up. We discussed spelling mistakes, slang, text messaging, audience and the ideas given by the comments, some of which served to increase the class vocabulary. We went on to cover internet safety, audience again and a few other things.
The time spent by pupils on the computers was about 10 minutes each. Most of the work involved, discussion and writing, the odd picture was drawn, nothing out of the ordinary.
Blogging provided some extras (audience,context and purpose) for real work.
After reading Gordon’s post Too much hassle I think the problem is that some teacher do not realise that it is not really much hassle to dip a toe in the web 2.0, but we need to give enough time, training and practice to let them know that. Same as any other aspect of teaching and learning really.
The English Beat – End of the Party – Special Beat Service (yes I am grabbing this from iTunes, sorry)