Thursday, September 21, 2006

SETT: To blog or not to blog?

Susan Buchanon, Fiona Cunningham, Fiona Andrews and some children from primary 7.

Woodhill Bloggers
Woodhill Bloggers,
originally uploaded by DavidDMuir
"A blog is what ever you want it to be". However Susan warned about coming up with contrived projects. The technology should fit the curriculum, not the other way around.

Good intoduction to podcasting can be found at PC Pod.

Why use?

Woodhill did Modern Foreign Language podcasts. Reasons given to the headteacher:
  • real audience
  • motivational
  • flexible (anytime, anywhere)
  • interactive
  • strengthens home school links#
  • ...and more but lost it. :-)
Susan was inspired to try blogging after SETT 2005. Started small with Blogger and a focus on French vocabulary with Primary 6. They got three iPods from Enterprise funding and another from Comedius {right name?}. Established a development group including a classroom assistant who was very experienced French speaker (Fiona Cunningham).

Fiona explained how desperate the pupils were to help with the podcasting and to get the files downloaded to their own players. (Most of their pupils now have players.

All the soundfiles etc. are available on the Woodhill Blog, either for download to iPod or, for those who don't have mp3 players, to listen to it on the web.

Like the Teddies presentation, the pupils' voices were heard - this time because the pupils were with them they stood up and explained what they did. They showed us how they used the iPod and how they answered questions.

In the project, the pupils blogged about what they did. The pupils loved the project. They thought the iPods were cool and liked getting out of class. {DM: It suits the way they like to work! :-)} Again, it was a pupil that showed us here how they used Blogger. {DM: I thought it was brave to have the children do a live blog post. I hope they leave the test post he did in place!} He said, "As you can see, it's very simple.", in fact he said that anyone can use it even parents and teachers! :-) Comments have to approved by the teacher before they are made live... but in response to my question she said she had never had any inappropriate comments. She also explained the online safety training they did.

They now have other sites and are using "two stars and a wish" to comment on the pupils online work.

See Eco Warriors an environmental project, a wiki developed with other schools and blog for parents to get feedback from parents and encourage home school links.

Susan highly recommended Will's book.

Susan then went on to show some other primary school blogs. What was brilliant was that Susan showed some examples of primary blogs including Sandaig (with a picture of John and Spencer and Campbell taken earlier today) and the Interactive Chatting Teddies blog (where there was a picture of me with Campbell and Spencer taken earlier today! Ah the wonders of the read/write web and the wireless internet access here at SETT. Stunningly brilliant! :-)

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Joe Dale said...

Hi David,

Do you know if the session 'To blog or not to blog?' was recorded and will be made available for download, like last year?

Best wishes


Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom -

Trust Mark said...

ah.. that is the age old question isn't it... very Shakespearean. I agree that a blog can be whatever you "want" it do be. I just don't think a blog should be an online diary of oneself. Just my opinion. Blog's are great information resources, no diaries. :)