Today we tried to set up the PCs – a mix of Windows desktops and iMacs – to enable the students to log straight in to their learnerblogs.org accounts using links stored in the Internet Explorer "Favorites". Tests had previously shown that this worked, but today we realised that this wasn't consistent – there must be some variation between them. Anyway, it didn't take long to ensure they were all logged in before each of the 2 classes arrived. That made all the difference – they were able to concentrate on their writing!
The WordPress (multi-user) interface doesn't seem to present any difficulties, even at this age. By setting them up with Author rights, they're presented with a lot less menu options – just the ones they'll need. They were again enthusiastic about describing likes and dislikes. Motivation was sufficiently good there was no need to introduce any more features yet. Things like changing the appearance may become rewards for good work…
We've also now started adding a Blogroll, or list of favourite links, to each which will enable them easily to find one another's blogs. The idea here is to enable peer commenting. Here's an
example of what they're looking like now.