Robert Whiteside at Haddington Infant School has around 80 P3 bloggers about to migrate to the Exc-el blog system. This work is investigating at exploring the potential of blogs in formative assessment. Aims include:
- exploring whether a student blog is a better vehicle for Personal Learning Plans, and can help reduce the potential bureaucracy involved with paper plans
- using blogs to help involve parents as partners in their children’s learning
- facilitating peer assessment by encouraging pupils to comment on one another’s work (including providing Blogroll links to make it easy to find peer blogs)
While we were still cranking the starting handle of the Exc-el blog system in August these blogs were set up on learnerblogs.org. I met with Robert today to discuss migrating the blogs over.
Experience with the set-up on learnerblogs showed that with P3 children, we need to keep usernames and passwords very simple. This time we’ll be changing their existing usernames – of the form hisP3laura – to just hilaura, and we’ll be setting passwords which are also simple. We can simplify things further because we can now make Robert the administrator of all the blogs, and grant each student author rights to keep their screen as simple as possible. This will also mean that Robert will receive email notifications as soon as any comments are left on these blogs.
I’ve now trained Robert up to use the Site Admin tools. The plan is to have a network of staff with admin rights who can quickly set up student blogs and do basic support things like change forgotten passwords. By taking email out of the loop – most students don’t yet have access to email at school – creating a new blog, or user, can be done immediately. Clearly having a pool of people with administrator rights introduces an element of risk – most WPMU installations don’t do this. The benefit has already proved substantial with other staff, though, and there have been no adverse consequences.
4 thoughts on “P3 “Personal Learning Plan” bloggers migrating to Exc-el”
This sound like very interesting research, I look forward to seeing the new blogs. Simple passwords are needed further up the primary school too!
Is there a place where all the East Lothian pupil blogs are listed.
The whole exc-el blog set up looks like it is making great strides and proving an example for others to follow.
Thanks for your interest.
I haven’t published a list yet. At first, it seemed sensible not to actively promote them until they’d got established – although clearly that doesn’t help build audience! Since then, I’ve added a few on the Exc-el home page, which you’ve probably seen – but it’s not enough.
I think what I should do is do a quick review and make up a list of blogs where publicity would be appropriate, and put that up. I’ll see if I can get that done over the weekend. Weather here is awful tonight , so the idea of spending time at the PC currently seems quite attractive…
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