Monday, February 26, 2007

Why Blog?

“Our kids need role models and guides to teach them socialisation skills to participate in a connected community”
Graham Wegner

In the past I have used email as a learning tool for connecting students in my classes to a wider global neighbourhood. This has very obviously led to an increase in their understanding of other people’s learning and living but even more importantly a huge increase in their understandings about themselves.
Web 2.0 or 3.0 now - the new social networking tools have become the new learning technologies. Web 2.0 tools will continue to replace the more historic and passive formats. Yep, “E-mailing is for old people“ as one student commented. So true! Unless we grab the tools of our students and embrace them as a learning technology, our students will leave us behind and we will miss a superb opportunity to share our own wisdom with them as they glide into this new social information age.

Connecting students through global learning networks using blogs, wikis, podcasts etc can assist to make learning rich, real and relevant to our students. As Robert Minahan pointed out at the CyberSafety sessions, and to the surprise of their parents, and I suspect – their teachers, our kids are doing it anyway. They have their own beebo sites, myspace pages etc but few have had any guidelines into the safety and ethical aspects to be considered. We have left them to navigate through a mine field with no protection.

Web 2.0 changes our traditional paradigms on how information and knowledge are created, shared and used. We are in a now in a new world. We have Trade Me instead of garage sales, fishpond instead of bookshops, google instead of newspapers, podcasts instead of radio, myspace instead of the mall. Yep we can blog and wiki too. Rather than deny these new social networking tools exist, let’s embrace them with our students, and share our collective wisdom to benefit the future.

I blog to share and reflect, to have added input and learn from others, to be connected to my friends, colleagues and a much wider network and to be involved and learn alongside one another.

“Teachers have the skills and responsibility to teach students how to critically navigate the information overflow but only if they have working knowledge of the new information landscape.”
Graham Wegner


Anonymous said...

Lorraine discussed making websites and as part of this she included blogging using classblogmeister. She included how to create our own classroom blog site, adding pictures using flickr which included adding a yahoo email site. Lorraine helped me personally to do all this and more because she is awesome! Ps, it is now 5.30pm.

John Ward.

Lorraine said...

Hi John,
Isn't it a great site for a class blog?!! And so easy to use. As I have said earlier "the internet has gone from content to conversation"

We finished our session at 5.30 and by that stage the scene was set. The class blogs were ready to go. Thanks for the uptake John and for your enthusiasm to take on a new challenge.

Would love to see what your students do and think of it.

Blogs can provide a superb writing environemnt with a world wide audience. To see 5 year olds blogging as part of the class literact programme is exciting. I can imagine their own excitement as they share their work and receive feedback and encouragement posted to their blog re their efforts from adults and other children online. It will be exciitng to see what learning adventures are uncovered in our own cluster.

We should try uploading a podcast soon too...


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