Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Hopefully by now you know what a blog is, know a little bit about what we’ve been up to and are rearing to give it a go!
If you want to have a look at what we’ve been doing ……then have a look around and read this blog. You can either scroll your way down and read the bits that you are interested in or you can click on the links in the side bar here on the right to go directly to them. Also in the side bar you will find links to our class blogs and a few other blogs that may be of interest (we found them interesting!).
If you want to get started …… we have copies of the worksheets so you can work through them and design your own blog ready to use with your own students.
We would love your feedback please click on comments and tell us what you think.

What we do with blogs

Perhaps the most difficult thing we have found is convincing students that their blog is their space and for them to write on it what they want! We believe that it's all about ownership!

In class time we try to do the following-:

  • support students as they use blogs. This includes helping them to set up their first blog and get used to the different functions they have access to. As needed, we show them how to put in links, add photos or soundfiles and manage formatting, as well as the settings and template tabs.
  • focus on interaction. One way has been Emily's 'blog surfing' activity - a variation on the Find someone who... activity, where students have a list of questions and have to find the answers on each other's blogs. We actively focus on getting them to read and comment on each other's blogs, and have extended that to looking at other EFL class blogs (both in Unitec and overseas) and getting them to read and then comment on other students' blogs. A good place to find partners for this sort of exchange is at Dekita. The next step is to find what they are interested in and see if there are blogs available in their interest areas in English.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Reflection at beginning of 2006

At the end of 2005, I looked back at the way that I had used blogs through the year (a whole year!) with my students. Highlights for me were

  • students writing on topics that they chose
  • interaction between us through the blog
  • the chance to communicate even when NOT at Unitec eg. students who had left the class and for me as a part-time teacher when not at work
  • students discovering new things to do on blogs and then teaching me how!
  • interviewing students and finding out what they thought about blogs
  • writing my own blog - any task I set the students, I tried to do myself
  • finding other teachers excited by blogging and its potential

Things to exploit in 2006

  • the power of photos
  • creative and personal input
  • audio files (and foray into podcasting?!)

Have been challenged by Aaron's article on Start with student passion!