Originally I decided that I wanted to go slow and run a session by session, structured approach to teaching my students about blogging. I had already begun our blogging in class on pieces of paper and didn’t really want to get them onto their actual blogs online. However, I reflected on the students in my class and realised that they are growing up in a generation of risk-takers. A generation of ‘jumping in the deep end’ and having to try new things without knowing fully how to do them. So, I taught them how to log into their blog site and let them have a supervised ‘self guided tour’ through the Dashboard of their blog to see what they could learn, but without actually doing anything. The purpose in doing this was really to see what they were able to discover, excite them, see what they could teach each other and perhaps most importantly … what they could teach me! 🙂
In only a matter of minutes, there were a range of students who had discovered how to upload posts, insert files to posts, change their avatar, change the name of their blog and possibly the most important ones to the students, changing the theme to set the appearance for their site.
We discussed the importance of being Cybersafe and not revealing your identity online – in today’s session, the actions that reflected the values in this conversation were to only use their first name on their blog page title and to use an internet picture as their avatar. We also continued more about our discussion on the terminology in blogging; the difference between a site, a page, a post and a comment and also spoke about widgets, avatars, categories and tagging.
I was amazed at how quickly they seemed to pick up the language, the features in their blog and the purpose that each one of them has.
I still intend to run some structured sessions on the different features of blogging in the coming lessons but have not restricted my students having a play with their blogs, without posting anything, at home.
How was your approach to beginning your classes with blogging? Was it structured, semi structured or a ‘Jump in the Deep End’ approach?