Friday, April 15, 2005

Term 1 2005

I used this class blog with my intermediate students this term, but it basically 'just grew' rather than me planning it at the beginning of the term. My aim was to experiment with the medium and see what 'worked' with my students.

At the end of the term, I reflected on what the blog consisted of. The main purpose of blogging had been to encourage students’ ownership of learning, but I found that what I'd really enjoyed was the chance to communicate with my students in a different place. The postings could be divided into three general headings - examples of each given below.

Class blog
· Communication - This included information about the course and also about events in the community that students might enjoy, homework set and answers given, responding to questions that students asked in class giving more detailed examples than I had been able to off the cuff.
· Use of Internet - Suggestions of websites that students might find interesting relating to course content, topics discussed in class, public holidays
· Affective value - A chance to build community, share each others' blog URLs, talk about myself and a place to put up photos.

For the students' own blogs, I felt the value had lain in
giving them a public place (with a class audience) in which to write, and encouraging them to make it their 'own' space. Informal feedback from students was very positive, with one student commenting 'this is the first time that I have written English for people to read'.

Things to improve next term?
· Student communication – focus on comments more, both to class blog and to each other's blogs
· Students' ownership of blog – move away from set topicsp>