Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday 24th May (End of Week 4)

Things seems to be progressing well. After being out of school for three days, I returned to the classroom on Thursday with a number of students happily reporting they had embraced their blog. I have been surprised by the way students have now embraced the 1.2 blog as a kind of online portfolio for all of their writing. I think they get a sense of pride from seeing their efforts published, and like that they can see it grow (particularly as I have been setting a rather cruel number of practice essays).

This week I have a colleague coming in to observe the 11 English class doing peer feedback. I am hoping to get the students to create their own marking rubrics by responding to a range of exemplars. They will then use the rubric to feedback on each other's writing, making comments on why they gained a specific grade and advice on how to lift their grade. This will then inform a redraft that I will check out. I am hoping this will encourage them to start placing feedback on on each other's blogs. I think they are checking out other people's work, but are a little hesitant to comment.

Vince (my project leader) will be in Thursday afternoon and Friday to meet with me and my students. I will be interested to see how he views our progress.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sunday 17th May (looking back on Week 3)

Frustration is abating a little. After being thwarted by the lack of open Internet access at school and apathetic students I have manged to get a few more students on board and online. I did resort to getting students signed up using my computer whilst I was logged on. At least I feel there is now enough students involved to make my project valid.

One nice, and rather unexpected development that has happened this week is that several of the students who are blogging are looking at how else they might use the blog. Several students now want to use their blog as a portfolio for all of their practice essays and even their Reading Logs for US8808. Another nice development is the ongoing dialogue in both classes about what they have written and if I have checked it out, there is a sense of pride in completing each entry that really doesn't happen with the paper and pen students. Another positive is that the only students to "resubmit" essays as a result of feedback are two of my blogging girls....hmmm I am interested to see where all this goes in the coming weeks.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tuesday 12th May (Week 3)

After an initial burst of success, I am this week dealing with the frustrations of dealing with ICT in schools and the contrary nature of students!

Last year, I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by students to seize the opportunity to complete their work using blogs. Students rushed home, eagerly signed on to the class website and attached their blogs with glee! This year it is proving quite a different story. I don't know if they are suffering a little stage fright, thinking the world is checking their progress due to it being part of a research project, or maybe they already jaded, quietly scoffing at my twee efforts to engage them with ICT, or maybe they are just apathetic...or I am a little too anxious - admittedly last year I had no real time frame and expectations and we ambled happily through the process together. Will do my best to be patient and see what unfolds. Patience is not something that comes naturally to me.

My patience was again tested today when I thought I could tackle this issue by getting one of the classes into a computer room, giving them a little time and guidance to encourage them to sign up to the class website and get blogging, but alas I was thwarted by basically every blogging site known to man been blocked for students, and my tragic attempt to get around this by having a stab at using the school intranet blog tool, only to find that blogs written on the intranet would not be viewable unless you were logged onto the school intranet. AAAARRRGGHHH!!!!

Unfortunately student patience levels are even lower than mine and I can sense they are becoming a bit dubious of the advantages of blogging altogether.

Trying hard not to let panic show......