The life of an instructor in schools involves being surrounded by a great deal of activity, not entirely congruent to our immediate job specification. There are two responses to this:
- ignore anything not immediately applicable
- take note and adapt
I favour the latter approach.
With this in mind, I went along to Prestonpans Education Centre on Friday where Ewan McIntosh delivered a lucid presentation on uses of blogging in the classroom. Most of those present were new to blogging but I was keen to see if I had missed anything. Moreover, I hope to be explaining how it works to pupils before long. All of those present were classroom teachers who would be able to oversee their pupils use of computers – I will need to explain this sans computer/internet and encourage pupils to post from elsewhere e.g. school library, home etc. This throws up questions of how best to organise this:
|Posting to my blog||Parents can keep in touch with the bigger picture and with items posted their for their use||Pupil posts would be peppered in amongst my own and separable only by choosing the appropriate category|
|Having a discreet pupil blog||It would feel more like “their area”||A sense of connectedness would be lost|
(this table – imported from Word – didn’t come out as planned – any ideas, anyone?)
Before trying encourage a representative of pupils to keep a learning log, I was keen to see existing examples and benefits, of which Ewan had prepared a wealth.
Work in progress
Some involved pupils posting creative writing in the hope that constructive criticism from others might inspire future editing. The ease of storage/retrieval in the virtual world meant that the author could navigate to the source, go into edit mode, and rewrite only those words necessary. A history of improvements in the text could be seen more clearly than in the world of destroy and rewrite.
Pupils’ work can be given a longer shelf life than the necessarily short stay on a school wall – not that this represents in any way a replacement of in-school display. Families near and afar and pupils from other schools, towns and countries can look in and comment. This “hands across the sea” element was impressive.
Work displayed need not be static but could take the form of displays of dance, Tai Kwon Do etc.
On a technical note, I still feel a little uncertain about how exactly to go about this but experience has shown that such things feel more intuitive when imagining is replaced by doing. Moreover, unlike diamonds, nothing is forever in this field and editing – from the addition of a comma, to the deletion and rebirth of the whole thing – is possible 24/7.