Saturday, September 27, 2003

My new class blog / student blogs

I have started using weblogs with one of my Audio Visual English groups (Class Blog http:realpro.blogspot.com). this is a pre-intermediate group studying cinema/theatre/TV Production/Direction courses. There are 21 students in class and I took them to one of the computer classrooms last Friday.

The session was a success, much more so than the last attempts I have had trying to register students for a class blog. This time, I did the following:

1) I asked them to go to the class blog site and take a look at the links in the latest post. After they'd had a look at these two blogs (one class blog / one individual blog about films) I told them that they were going to set up their own weblog. There were some queries: i) What was the reason for doing so, and ii) what a blog actually was. My answers to them were i) to practise writing in English in a new, fun way and ii) a personal journal / diary. some of the students understood the concept thinking of it as a kind of personal 'forum'.

Anyway, I asked them to go to Blogger and took them orally through setting up a weblog. Some of them were much faster than others, but all of them paid attention because I told them it was going to form part of their first class assignment.

They set up individyual (student) weblogs and after writing their first post, they opened another browser window to check their efforts.

Then I asked them to go to settings and invite me, and at least one other classmate to their blog. Then, the students who were quicker than the others were asked to post to check their invites and post to their classmates' blogs.

When the others had caught up, they were asked to ask me a question on their blogs , and told that I would be answering their question and asking them a question at the weekend. this was their assignment. They have to sign in and answer my question in their blogs before the next class (next Friday). The idea behind this is to try and get them used to accessing the blogs on their own, so we can start to use it as an after-class activity and not just something we use together when we go into the computer room. Let's see how this goes...

When I have time (I have to answer all of their questions now!), I will link to their class blogs from the RealPro blog

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