Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blogging with 8A

This week, I started to set up my homeroom/English class with their own blogs. It seemed like a good way to get them started on a sort of on-line journal and let them see that there are other things than social networking sites!

It's still at the teething stage. I suppose I should have committed them to one choice of blog, but you have to have a Gmail account to access Blogger easily and besides, Livejournal offered "friends" which seemed a good way to ease them into a different kind of on-line presence, so for those of them who didn't want to bother opening a new email account, I offered Livejournal. I discussed the differences between the two, pointed out that they could post plenty of pictures on Blogger, but they could have "friends" on Livejournal and let them decide.

Some of them took to it with great enthusiasm, had fun coming up with names for their journals and actually succeeded in putting up posts. Others tried desperately to open their new accounts, but had trouble with the "are you a human?" check where you have to type in the nonsense words, because even when they got it right they were rejected. Then there were those who managed but said, "Okay, I'm in, now what?" and didn't like my suggestion of beginning with an introduction to themselves. There were a couple whose posts were written SMS-style and they insisted they wanted it that way.

There were those who spent so much time acquiring "friends" that they didn't get around to posting.

And then there were those who set up successfully the other day, but forgot their logins and passwords alike.

I had taken a list of URLs, but I am going to make each of them give me their log-in and password if they don't want to risk recording it in their school diaries, which have a tendency to get lost.

I took them to the library, where we only have 12 computers, so had to book the class set of Netbook computers to have enough for everyone. It sort of worked, but those cute little computers take time to get used to.

I need to think of a structured way to get this going, but I think they enjoyed it and once it's up and running, it can be a semi-regular thing. They can post at home or at lunchtime, they can post late in a period when they have finished other work.

Still, I'm exhausted!

Till next time...