Today was the first day in the lab with the seniors and a chance to re-focus on their passion project blogs. Over the break I had developed a rubric to guide their work on the blog based projects and today we had a discussion with the first two groups about the expectations. We have decided that at a minimum we want to have the students work on their blogs at least once per week. We also began to discuss how they might like to present their final project and how we would like them to experiment with more than one mode of presentation. To show off some of the possibilities and provide other resources, I have contracted with them to set up a test blog.
In the discussion I also highlighted the desire to see them engage in conversation and connection using the comments functionality of the blogs. Given the interest that Leo’s request and subsequent installation of a Clustrmap on his blog has stimulated, a challenge was issued to get them to seek comments from outside the school and even outside of Australia if possible. I pointed out that one of the ways to invite comments from people outside of the school was to first go to other like student blogs and read and comment on them. In making these comments they can then invite the other students to look in at their blog.
From the blogging contacts I have, I have begun to compile a list of suitable blogs to direct our students to. I have included a couple of these links in our Senior Unit Pageflakes site but would really love to have a whole lot more as we have some 120 students in our unit. If you are reading this and know of any classroom based blogs or bloggers that would enjoy possible comments from some grade 5-6 students in Geelong, Australia and who would be likely to return the favour can you let me know in the Comments below.