A few days ago, I logged on to my email account to discover I had 2 new comments on this blog. They were both from Kim who has agreed to be my critical friend throughout this dissertation ‘experience’! I’m so grateful for these comments – they’ve ‘kicked me into action’ again. They were both very thought provoking .. I’m still contemplating them 2 or 3 days later 🙂
In my previous post I had written,
“When I asked them about their preference to using Bebo versus their Individual Blogs, I was really surprised that they thought that the Bebo site was ’safer’. They thought that it was safer because they had all opted to choose the ‘only friends can see my page’ option. They felt that there were no worries about ’strangers’ looking at their site – they were in control? They mentioned that the ‘public’ option on Bebo was for older people (bigger brothers and sisters) .……… so do they feel uncomfortable with their individual blogs?? Too exposed?”
Kim’s comment prompted me to investigate that issue more fully. Today in class, the children explained that it wasn’t that they felt unsafe using their blogs, but that they realised the dangers of placing individual photographs on there, or mentioning surnames, etc. These are things they feel that they can do on their Bebo sites because only their chosen friends can view these things. It’s not a case of them feeling uncomfortable with our Individual Blogs, just an awareness of the need to be more vigilant.
In her second comment, Kim asked,
“Maybe it comes back to the whole purpose of blogging in your room – have you discussed this with the kids? What do you use your blogs for?”
I found this a difficult question to answer. I think maybe there’s not just one purpose. I explained in the response that I’m trying not to allow them to become ‘teacher directed’. At the moment, for example, we’re writing group stories that will be turned in to Playscripts. Some groups are writing these on their wikis, some prefer to use paper and pencil. We aim to eventually act out these plays and video them for the blog…… that’s the plan, anyway 🙂
We’re also about to begin our WW2 topic. Before we do that, we’ll try to get a sense of history by making up good interview questions to ask an older member of the family. Some might choose to note down the responses, some might make a podcast and others have suggested carrying out a telephone interview.
Thanks again to my critical friend for helping me to keep focused!
Maybe it’s time to remind myself of the questions and aims I set out at the start of this dissertation journey ………. I’m finding that it’s vey easy to wander off the track:)
- Can Weblogs and Wikis and other associated emerging social software tools be used to create an effective on-line learning community?
- To investigate the useful features, and barriers, when using blogs and wikis in a supportive on-line environment
- To set appropriate tasks and to guide and monitor progress
- To evaluate motivation, as well as formal and informal learning