Not to be outdone, students in Year 5 were busy today setting up their various group blogs ….. lots of giggles, ohhhs and demands to get started NOW!
Kate is taking a different approach with her students, setting up a shared blog space for groups working on different topics, such as: Visual Ventures (electricity); Safety First (issues for different scenarios); New Concepts (cool maths problems to try and solve); Riddles & Poems; Religion (World Youth Day – the latest on the cross, and living the message of Jesus).
I wish I could share the looks of wonder and excitement that I saw on these faces in every group. The focus and interest in getting further involved with blogging is interesting to see.
Five Green Specials and all the students blogs are just getting underway, though it will take a few weeks to get these properly underway – as a new teacher is taking over from Kate soon who will be at home with her new baby!
However, the kids in Riddles and more for English already have a couple of podcasts on their blog! Great work kids! I have a feeling that we will see (hear, watch?) beaut things happening on these blogs as the year goes on.
But seriously, we have been able to explore quite a few different dimensions of blogging with Kate’s and Elizabeth’s class. It is great to be able to set up learnerblogs safely using gmail accounts that are an alias of the main account the teacher has set up to manage her classes blogs.
It’s been very rewarding working with Elizabeth and Kate on establishing and expanding blogging ideas for their school – thanks for letting me share in the learning fun 🙂
If you want to set up learnerblogs, and don’t want to let students loose on this using their own email addresses, then simply create an account e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org. Then you are ready to create learner blogs with email alias accounts by using the plus (+) sign and name e.g. email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. All the authorization and management matters related to your students blogs will come to the gmail account that you have set up.
Read Doug Belshaw’s post about 8 things I like about Edublogs (and learnerblogs) to get some ideas if you are new to this. Doug also has a nice way to enter his teacher and student spaces at Mr Belshaw.co.uk– explore further to build your own ideas.
Wow. The gmail alias is a wonderful trick. Thanks so much for sharing.
Nice work, Judy. I’ve set up Google Apps for Education on my mrbelshaw.co.uk domain for next year. Hopefully this will mean that every student has a GMail-powered email account, iGoogle home page, etc.
Might be a thought – check how I get on over at my blog! 🙂
Hi Judy, great to see collaborative blogs out there by children not teachers. I do believe wikis is an area that gives true collaboration whether on a specific class topic, show and display or group work. You can see how I have used the wikis in all these guises at http://juniorschool.wikispaces.com/. Hope this gives food for thought to using this medium more in schools. Sharon
Hey Judy, thanks for the tip about setting up the blogs. We’d already set up an account to get our class an iGoogle page, simply to aggregate everything we’re using on to one page (our delicious links, school website and intranet links, etc.).
I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before, but after starting a shared class blog at the beginning of the year, we set up a blog for each of our literacy/reading groups. I would post a question or discussion starter each week for the children in the group to respond to. This week we’ve started trialling each student in the group taking turns to post the question/discussion starter for the others to respond to, thus trying to encourage some conversation between each other before they come to the readers’ circle later. It’s a bit of a shaky start, but I think it will be good.
In the meantime, the class blog’s become a little stale. Hopefully we’ll revive it with the posting of the podcasts we’ve been hoping to do and have finally started recording. They’re proving to be a fantastic way of teaching factual recounts through the Talking and Listening strand of English – not to mention that they had to write and edit a script – now there’s some worthwhile and purposeful learning in English!
Not sure if you want this but you have been memed by me for the 8 random facts meme, see my blog 🙂