Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Why Blog?-Classroom Blogging

Over the last few weeks my teacher friend Rach and I have been introducing blogging to our Year 7 and Year 8 students. Rach is a first-year-out teacher who is new to our school this year and who also teaches Physical Education and Outdoor Education. She is also a bit of an IT freak and loves nothing better than mucking around on the computer at night when she probably should be preparing amazing IT lessons for her Yr 7&8's. Only joking Rach-you can do all the surfing you like 'cause you seem to have it all in hand.
Anyway, we team-teach 4 periods a week and this 2o year veteran primary teacher (oh that is scary, I've just realised that I have probably been teaching almost longer than Rach has been living) is really enjoying this opportunity to team teach, learn more and more new stuff from both Rach and the kids.

Having said all this though I think one of our key challenges is to think about why we should, could or would use this method of publishing in the classroom.
a few questions that immediately come to mind-and I don't necessarily have the answers.
  • Will it improve student literacy?
  • If so - How?
  • If not- Why not?
  • Will it engage students in the writing process?
  • What do we get students to write about?
  • What is our role in the process?
  • How can we harness this authentic writing and journalling opportunity to also teach and develop writing and thinking skills? (It's the old Reading Recovery teacher coming out in me)
  • Do we allow free reign for topics or do we maintain some direction or control?
  • How do we maintain the privacy of our students?
  • How do we ensure their protection?
I'm sure there are heaps more questions to ask and many more issues to explore. Another time...

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