I’ve been helping at a local Primary School, introducing some of the kids to blogging. I have two groups – six children in each. Year 4 are all boys, and have The Mathematicians blog, and Yr5/6 are three of each, with their Millie’s Secret blog. We had some problems at first with using the kidblog platform on our netbooks – they couldn’t reply to comments, but the support company came in and fixed something and we’re probably now in business again.
The kids love it. Part of their enthusiasm is perhaps due to them being treated as something special – they can escape the regular classwork and do something fun with an old guy who doesn’t shout at them too much!
We started by making avatars of the teachers and then of themselves, which are now part of their blogging identity. We’ve written a few things to get an idea of how blogs work … but now what? I can start giving them blogging challenges but I wonder if I can squeeze them in. You see, by the time they’ve come in and got connected, they only have access to their blogs for, at most, 35 minutes each Friday, and we need to use that time as effectively as we can. The normal thing to do would be to get them to comment on others’ blogs and to refine the skill of commenting, but by the time they’ve written a couple of comments it’s time to go!
I’d welcome any thoughts or suggestions on how to maximise the fun and learning we get out of these short slots.