Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Who owns your class blog?

I sometimes feel guilty that my personal learning blog posts have dropped to about two a month. On the other-hand, my class blog has grown in number of posts and comments. At the end of term one we had 36 posts and and amazing 320 comments.

So who is in the driving seat?
In the beginning of the year my students were new to blogging, so I started them off slowly but consistently, using it in our daily literacy programme. I wrote all of the first posts. I started off getting them to comment on a post, "How was your 2009?" was a fun slide-show and a chance to talk about themselves. Safety and responsibility online are always in our discussions.

Writing a positive and helpful comment has been our goal for term one. As part of the Edublogs Challenge we also commented on many other class and student blogs around the world. It is great see the progression of comments, the student 'comment conversations' on posts has been an extra wonderful surprise. Inspired by this I have now started exploring with my students what a blog comment conversation might look like. I am also considering making a  student the official class blog commenter, they would track all new comments and ensure they got answered.

Looking back, the posts have changed through the term. I am still driving the class blog and posting in fun ways like Animoto. The content however is driven by my students learning. Groups and pairs  often blog samples of their learning, then competed for comments. Comments really do make blogs an inspiring literacy experience for students, especially when coming from other kids. Twitter teacher group #comments4kids has been incredably supportive in giving comments. There are some amazing teachers who also let their students do the talking. Their wiki is Comments4Kids.
I had been concerned that I owned too much of our class blog? I manage the set-up, change the layout and do the actual blog posts. With 320 comments however, it suggests that my students are owning the conversation about their learning. Our class blog is becoming a literacy voice, a story that we are creating together. It is also a stepping stone towards their own personal blogs which they will get next term. Team 17's Class Blog

So who owns your class blog? You or your students?

Photo by plasticrevolver