Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Another student blog... sort of

When I posted my list of student blogs, there was one I missed out. I didn't omit it because I don't like the student - it's just that it isn't a blog about student things. The blog in question is The Life of Antoninus Pius and claims to be written by Antoninus Pius, that well known (deceased) Roman emperor!

When I first discovered his blog, the part that caught my eye was its description:
The philosophical ramblings of a long-deceased Roman emperor.
I thought it was going to be written in the persona of Antonius Pius and thought that sounded brilliant! However, it turns out that it is a place where the student considers all things ancient... especially all things ancient and Roman. Despite my limited (i.e. non-existent) knowledge of this subject, I find it an interesting read.

However, what if there was a blog written by a historical character? For example, wouldn't it be interesting to read a blog by Mary Queen of Scots - especially if you could read one for the corresponding time-period written by Queen Elizabeth?

David Muir
originally uploaded by toru.k.
Of course, it doesn't have to be a historical character. It would be just as interesting to read a blog written by Atticus Finch while reading through To Kill a Mocking Bird with a class. Or what about a blog by Lennie from Of Mice and Men? ...OK, that one might not be such a good idea as it would be full of rabbits (well, mostly rabbits), but you get the idea... The teacher could write the blog or, depending on the age and stage of the class, it may be possible for the learners to create the blog themselves.

There must be examples of this sort of thing out there already. I know that what I should do is fire up Technorati or use the Google Blog Search tool and go look for examples but I've decided to take the easy way out put the whole Connectivity thing to the test {Thinks: that sounds more educationally justifiable} and just ask if anybody knows of some good examples.

So, does anybody know what I'm talking about? Have you seen examples of blogs like this? Better still, have any of you been involved in the creation of blogs like this? I'd love to know how well it works in practice.

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stuck_in_the_middle said...

Hi David,

I totally agree - I think a blog used for this purpose has real potential for pupil learning. In my attempt to set up a pupil web-log during placement, a similar idea had sprung to mind - setting up a blog written by the artist or designer the class had been writing about. In a similar way to hot-seating (with a roleplay twist!) the teacher would take on the persona of the artist/designer and pupils could read about their practice and learn by asking questions and commenting. Having the pupils write the blog would take this a step further. As my experience of this was limited, I too would be interested to hear how this would work in practice from anyone doing a similar thing.

David said...

Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully we'll both get some good examples to learn from.

john said...

Hi David,
There was a brilliant blog, a translation of Sei Shonagon's "Pillow Book", in 20th century USA girl talk. It is gone 403 now, but you can see an old version in the wayback machine I guess it got taken down because of comment spam as the comments in the archive are full of it.
The wayback machine is interesting in itself.

David said...

Thanks John. This is interesting... I think... For example, I liked the start to the post Huh, men! was:

Current music: Banshikicho Netori
Current mood: Confused

That was amusing but it all got a bit wearing after a while. :-)

Martin said...

Great example which faithfully recreates the diary entries of Samuel Pepys. 1 January 1660 was published on 1 January 2003. Loads on annotations which flesh out the details and give you a real appreciation of life in the 17th century.

David said...

Hello Martin

Thanks for posting this. Somehow I managed to miss your reply when you origially sent it. I am dealing with a fairly hefty backlog of email and I finally got to the notification from Blogger of your comment.

It certainly looks interesting. This is definately one to bookmark and show as an example.

Thanks again.