Blogging in action

I am currently in the very early stages of having a few of my classes creating their own blogs. Some early lessons and initial reactions are as follows. Check out the Sport Coaching blog as an example.






1. It is worth spending a lesson or two purely on the technical side of things to get the students skilled up in how to set up and manage their own blog. Initially it seemed quite cumbersome to get students to use their blogs and they found them difficult to use. In a very short space of time, and after some brief technical guidance they have picked them up and enjoy using them a lot more now. We did a little technical work to get them set up but I would spend a little more time next time around to ensure they had the basics covered.

2. Articulate the purpose of using the blog – often we have reasons for wanting to use certain techniques or tools and if students are aware of those reasons it can become more meaningful to them. Explaining to the students why we are using this method (to share our ideas and work with each other and to archive our learning and create a useful learning resource) made sense to them and seemed to help them focus and put energy into it. 

3. It gets much easier after the initial set up period – It was quite frustrating initially for myself as I had expected students to pick it up much easier, and frustrating for the students because I clearly had not given them enough guidance. Even so we managed to work through it and it has become much easier now that they have learnt how to use their blogs more effectively.

4. Digital natives?? – while this generation is regularly referred to as digital natives who operate seemlessly in this environment, I have found this to be a gross generalisation. A lot of students have very few skills and with technology and very limited experience and while they are generally eager and open to learn don’t assume that they are all just going to pick it up quickly and are naturals with technology. Clear, explicit instructions and guidance is required.

5. Train up/utilise student helpers – Trying to teach and answer every students questions is ineffective and will waste a lot of time. Once students had completed each part of the set up they were recruited as helpers and went around to help other students that had questions or were having difficulty. Gave me a lot more time to keep on top of everything and keep everyone involved. 





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