Glow Blogs.. Wikis.. Stories … and ePortfolios

I’ve been going on a lot about how the class are using their Glow Blogs. For example, at the  TeachMeet at this years Scottish Learning Festival my presentation focussed on them. I spoke about them again at the more recent Falkirk TeachMeet …. and I’m constantly mentioning them on twitter (the examples below are copied and pasted from my twitter account and were added there as I discovered them appearing on the top of the list of new Falkirk posts

It’s also great to see that some children who don’t normally enjoy writing in class are beginning to voluntarily write posts on their blogs from home. After receiving some encouraging comments (thanks to my ‘twitter’ colleagues!), they’re writing follow-up posts, too. The children love to have their posts read out in class and often the first thing they say in class is, “I’ve written a new post. Can we read it out to everyone?”

And there was the incidence when Lewis very quietly asked me to read out his latest blog post. No-one in class knew about his gran, and I think he was glad that he was able to mention it via his blog post (he whispered that his mum had said it was ok to share it)

“I have a gran called Ann and she was in strathcarron hospice with cancer and she had allot of medicine. She was in strathcarron hospice for four weeks but at the weekend she died on Saturday night.  Her funeral is on Thursday and I was sad when she died and I am going to miss her very much.”

I was a bit worried when I began using Glow blogs, and before I introduced them to the class I wrote a Wish List post. One of my main concerns was that the children would be frustrated that they couldn’t easily embed slideshows, etc. in to their posts. I think that it does irritate them a bit, but what has happened is that they’ve had to concentrate on the written word. This has led to some unexpected lengthy pieces of written work that we’ve been able to share in class (and subtly learn from?).

 Recently, though, there has been a turn of events. This came about as a result of writing letters to the local Bookbinders Tom Valentine’s in Larbert. The class wondered if they could be shown what’s involved in turning a story they’d written into an actual book. There was great excitement on Thursday when a reply came from the Bookbinders saying that they would visit us and look at some of our stories. The reply also included the children’s letters in a beautiful leather covered book with gold lettering (it’s at school but I’ll take a picture soon and include it here).  Valentines are going to bring along some of the equipment used when binding books before they’re published. 

The class have already begun planning the stories they want  (hope!) to be published. Some want to write individual stories and others want to work in a small group – but what concerns them is how they’ll access stories at home that have been begun in class .. and vice versa. We discussed  using Microsoft Word and saving the stories on to memory sticks – but none of the children have one. Another option is to write on their Glow blogs and save the entries as a Draft post.

It was at that point that I had the idea of setting  up a wiki for each of them. They were set up in a hurry on Friday – I’ve used them previously with classes so it didn’t take long! I only had a few minutes to ‘sell’ the advantages of having a wiki and to describe how to access it and use the various features.

I’ve noticed that Andrew has already added pages to his wiki. It’s looking great 🙂

What’s even more great is that he seems to have sussed out how he’ll use Glow blogs and his new wiki (another step towards an ePortfolio?)

Hi everyone! Welcome to my wikispace. I am going to use this for a lot of things. The main reasons are to have fun and to write my stories on. To view the stories I am going to write you will have to go on my stories page. I have a glow blog which is awesome so I think this will be awesome! I am looking forward to writing on this. I don’t really know what to write, so see you! Remember to look at all my pages daily!

I’m looking forward to sharing how he’s used his wiki in class tomorrow 🙂

6 thoughts on “Glow Blogs.. Wikis.. Stories … and ePortfolios

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Learning, Teaching and ICT » Glow Blogs.. Wikis.. Stories … and ePortfolios --

  2. Hi Margaret-your point about the pupils having to concentrate on the written word has made me think. I have been wrestling with trying to embed things on Glowblogs for a couple of weeks and have found it offputting! So still haven’t introduced it to my pupils!
    But perhaps I need to be less ambitious and let them concentrate on the text. Then hopefully embedding might get easier as time goes on!

    • Yes – I’ve been really surprised by the way the whole class have taken to writing posts. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if I’d introduced them to the ‘fancy stuff’ first.

      I’m glad that things have worked out the way they have 🙂

  3. Pingback: Learning, Teaching and ICT » Blogs, Wikis and Emergent Writers

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