Checking my Google reader I came across the latest post by Jeff Utecht on his blog, The Thinking Stick.
In it, he relates how he has spent today teaching 9th graders about blogging –
The classes were each 80 minutes long…plenty of time to setup a blog, write a short blog post, learn about posts vs. pages, walk through how to manage comments, change themes, update options, change password, and have a discussion on the use of the blog.
Wow! He goes on to explain how he related blogging to Facebook, comparing their new blogs to Facebook pages, and the sidebar widgits to all the Applications you can add to your Facebook page. The language of Facebook was familiar to the students so it made perfect sense to them! That was the first thing that struck me – making things relevant.
The second was the fact that the teacher was in the room, and learning at the same time. It’s a model I like – my best lessons have been when I’ve been learning with the kids – and particularly when they’ve been teaching me. I never tire of learning and hope my pupils are as eager to learn as me!
Jeff comments towards the end of his post-
‘This is the reason why I love blogs, they open up a whole world of opportunities.’
I’d just read Ewan McIntosh‘s article in The Guardian as well in which he concludes
‘The future (of using new technologies) is in teachers seeing for themselves what bounties await down this yellow brick road, before worrying about how they are going to bring Class 2C with them on Monday morning.’
I’m new to blogging and the like but I can see that the possibilities are endless. The kids need little persuading when I suggest using the latest tool I have discovered, and are learning without realising it much of the time.
For example, my 9 year old son had to do a topic on the Egyptians and decided to do half of it using Photostory3 – the quality and quantity of information he gave in his presentations was greater than he would normally have produced. And he learned how to use a new application – because he saw me doing it and it looked fun!
So, I’ll keep learning and taking the advice of John Hunter quoted in Ewan’s article –
‘Don’t think, try!’