Sunday, August 16, 2009

Student Centred Blog

Beyond School! Wow did an eleven year old really create this. I agree blogs can be an innovative tool to enhance children's creative writing. I have two male students in my class who have fantastic ideas but struggle immensely with their handwriting. It is sometimes unreadable and because it is hard work for them, the ideas become lost. They can however.....type! This technology opens up a learning world for those who desperately need it and others who also benefit from the engagement of using reflective blogs as both an individual and collaborative process. Imagine teaching in a school where every child has a laptop and part of their daily routine is to write on their blog. It could perhaps replace "diary writing" or at the end of each week students can reflect on their learning, what they liked most, what didn't they like, why, why not and any common issues arising for the week. I would love to know what my students think about my teaching and the highs and lows of their learning. I can only benefit from feedback and why not ask the people that matter the most. The class could have their own class blog and a different student adds to it each day to continue a fictional story. It could relate to the unit of work, healthy eating for example, the students can use a blog to post recipes, enhancing their abilities to write procedures. For older classes it could extend to exercise, diet, health etc. Blogs encourage student's to not only write but to read. An authentic task such as the step by step story, one which they have total control of, they choose the scenario for that day and each day they must read the prior postings. The students are in control of the story, they are making the decisions, generating new ideas. They are creating, they are involved in a higher order thinking skill according to Bloom's Taxonomy (Pohl, 2000). Students' are intrinsically motivated to learn due to the meaningful nature of the learning environment and activities. The Engagement Theory (1999) focuses on self directed and experimental learning, it represents a new paradigm for learning and teaching in the information age.

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