Thursday, January 27, 2005

Looking at some other blogs...

I have looked at some teacher and student blogs, and I am finally, I guess, coming to terms with the variety that exists out there.

The four student blogs that I chose to look at were largely personal. Although one had some discussion of a theme they were working on in class, the others made little mention of studying English. What really struck me about these blogs was the addition of images, skins, etc. They were absolutely beautiful blogs!

The three teacher blogs that I looked at were more class or education oriented, although one had what I would label "personal musings". They had more links than the student blogs but fewer images. They were all attractive blogs, of course.

Taking this new insight and thinking about my own blog, I think that I would tend to do basically what I saw as the pattern here: students doing personal writing and me doing more professional writing. My students, not generally very computer savy, need more practice just using the computer. They need to become more comfortable with it. They have good access to computers and to the Internet, although it is heavily censored by our firewall, so they could make regular posts. I have small classes, so blogging would give students a chance to interact in a different way and with different people, across levels if I wanted.

For myself, I would want a blog in which I could pass on information to the students, record what we do for others to see, etc. I don't think this is the only way I would want to use blogs, but it is the one most directly connected with my classes. I would try to keep it as a class record more than anything else. I think that is the kind of blog that would be most valuable to me right now.

As I am writing this, though, it strikes me as unfair. If I expect my student to make regular posts of their thoughts and activities, then I guess I should, too. So maybe I would have to have a personal blog and a "class" blog. If they let me read about them, then I should let them read about me.

It will be interesting to see what I really do, won't it?


aaron said...

I'm VERY interested in seeing what you do with your students! My students aren't interested in what I have to say on my professional practice or my studies, but they do enjoy reading about my personal they say, LOL. So I run a blog just like they do and also keep a main site to give them links for self-study and to communicate to everyone at once. The main site also contains links to their personal blogs. This kind of setup seems to work pretty well, at least it has so far. Please post links here once you get going with these ideas you have. Great stuff!

Bee said...

Absolutely Aaron :-)
Although I have not disclosed my privacy on a personal blog because just have a professional one ;-(, my students just LOVE when I bring photos to class to illustrate points like "when I was younger, I used to..." Many of the girls want to know for instance what my sons are doing and which places they go

Have a look at what you can also do with blogs by watching Michael Coghlan's presentation of his holidays in Monkey Mia, Australia.