It’s been couple of weeks since I issued the class with their Glow Blog usenames and passwords (actually it was a phased programme, so some have only had theirs for a week). In that short space of time there has been a lot of activity. I’ve been surprised by the way some of the boys have taken to their blogs. Andrew and Kian have written some great posts – and Jack’s ‘Hello Mighty World’ post really made me smile 🙂
The reason that I’m surprised at the way that the boys in the class have taken to the blogs, is because my research from a couple of years ago pointed to the fact that the girls were much more reflective and the boys preferred to upload pics, etc. This is not the case with this particular class. The girls are the ones who are keen to express themselves via slideshows, etc. The dissertation was a Case Study, though, and only looked at my (then) P7 class. Although at the time, KimP commented that she had found a similar trend with her own class
“…….The Vokis and Animotos are visual – like the prevalence of pictures on the boys blogs. I’ve noticed that the boys in my class also are really good at making topic related vokis and animotos.
In my experience, girls use these applications in a different way – more about how they see themselves, or want to see themselves; as opposed to the boys filling these applications with topic specific pictures and content.
…..PS Girls seem more word oriented evidenced by their blogging stories, commentaries etc; whereas boys tend to prefer visual (and less text oriented) ways of expressing themselves. Maybe boys prefer to talk and show how to use an application, rather than using application for personal reasons. Don’t know? Not sure”
Including slideshows in their Glow blog posts is proving a bit of a challenge as only certain sites can be embedded in to Glow Blogs. I had originally hoped to get round this by using Photostory3 (now available on all our school computers) and uploading these to Vimeo, but, although I can access Vimeo in school, I can’t log in to upload anything (and the children can’t access it at all when logged in to the computers). After a LOT of experimenting, however, I’ve managed to find some sites that do work and I’ll show these to the class tomorrow via a trial blog I set up. I’ve also just noticed that some of the girls have already found a way to include slideshows – but I suspect that they’ll soon use up the 100mb storage limit if they continue to do this (I’ll also need to disappoint them by pointing out that they can’t use pop music on their slideshows unles they’re sure the have permisson – I have explained about images, but didn’t think we were ready for the music just yet!)
What hasn’t changed, though, is the delight when comments are received. ‘Audience’ is clearly a very important part of their blogging. We’ve had to be careful to log out before leaving comments on posts, however, because surnames automatically appear (I could solve this by changing each of their Glow profile pages, but I just don’t have the time!)
Keeping track of the blogs is relatively easy as I use Google Reader, but I’ve noticed that if you visit the Local Authority Glow blog, then the most recently active blogs move to the top of the list.
Up until now, the class have been ‘getting to know’ their online spaces and just learning about how they work. Last week, I introduced them to linking to each others’ blogs or to any online webpage, and next I plan to explain the benefit of tagging their posts. I plan to let them grow organically as, if they’re going to withstand the test of time (and to eventually become part of an ePortfolio), the children need to feel ownership of the spaces. I was surprised, therefore, when they came up with the suggestion of using them as a learning log for their class project. Andrew blogged about this – and has already had feedback from his new PLN 🙂
“Hi again! Today at school Mrs V gave us all a Learning Log. A learning log is when you get given something to find out about. It can be anything from finding out about food to finding out about magnetism. Most of the time you get a week to do it. We were lucky though because you normally have to do it in a big jotter but we got to do ours on our blogs! Since our topic is on Australia my learning log is about Sydney! If any of the AllStars check out my blog could you please leave comments telling me a bit about Sydney! So heres my learning log…”
But I think that the biggest advantage of having given the children their own blogs, is the difference it has already made to the classroom climate … and the insight I’ve had to the children’s interests and personalities after having only been with them for such a short time. More on this to follow ….