Speed Kills

Having previously bemoaned the slowness of the blogging service attached to our Education Department’s blogging portal Globalstudent it was so great to be able to head into the school computer lab today to find that almost miraculously the logjam had been broken wide open. Before I sound like I am carping can I just place on record how fabulously farsighted and brave are the managers in head office for getting this initiative up and available. Unlike other constituencies that are locking out completely or restricting blogging to ‘wall gardened’ communities, Globalstudent is open to the web and full on blogging.

A derivative of James’ edublogs, to all intents and purposes the blogs work the same as edublogs. The one major difference is the capability to add a Challenge Question that potential commentators have to answer before they can even comment let alone have the comment moderated as per normal. As I blogged earlier, the appeal of this feature from a safety angle is actually a problem in itself as when we move outside our school community to seek comments, the challenge can actually form a de facto walled garden, albeit with a smaller wall.

Now prior to today, once more than 3 students logged in to Globalstudent school wide, the whole connection slowed interminably such that on more than one occasion connections timed out. This made it very frustrating both for myself and the students. It was almost impossible for us to have any meaningful instruction beyond a step or two let alone enable students to show off their work in class.

Over the weekend however everything has been resolved and today we had the lab humming as students moved in and out of their blogs at will. Presentations could be changed, problems with uploads and other features were resolved in minutes and I even got to sit back and take in the whole scene and almost feel redundant for the first time this year.  Oh how sweet.

BTW the breadth and depth of the student’s blogs is coming along really nicely too which makes today’s developments doubly pleasing. If you get the time check out;

Fascinating reading and then you get comments like these from one grade 6 to another and you have to say “Yep, it’s working”.

 “Emily,
You have chose a very interesting passion. I wouldn’t have picked that one up. Yeah, Shakespeare was a very inspiering, (sic) person with his writing. It’s hard not to be inspired with him. One final thing, why do you like writing reports? I’m not saying that I don’t like writing them but why?”

and

“Hey Kelly,
Great passion project Blog!
I love reading too so I think its a great topic. It’s great to educate people about different styles of texts, because even I admit I tend to stick to the same style of Books, but just reading about what you’ve said about some of the books you’ve read I think I might wan’t to read them my self ! Here are some Ideas you could do for your Blog
*Do a weekly book reveiw, (sic)
*Do a survey on what people’s favourite aurthors or style of books are
*Try putting some of your own stories on there!”

globalstudent.jpg🙂

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2 Responses to Speed Kills

  1. Tammy says:

    Hi John,
    I was so happy to find a primary school teacher who is using blogs in the classroom! I am a pre-service teacher, doing a graduate entry course and I come from a very strong IT background professionally. I have been horrified by how our lecturers seem to view ICT/web based stuff as an ‘add on’ or a ‘nice to have’ when we are apparently learning how to teach kids who have grown up with this stuff and will use it for work and personal communication!!
    Anyway, enough complaining about my uni staff…I am glad I have another avenue through which I can persue my interest in ICT+education and I was going to leave some comments on your students’ blogs, however since I dont know the school motto, it wont let me post…are you able to email it to me…thats if you trust that I am who I say I am…is it all too hard…?
    I really would like to have some interaction with your class through their blogs, I am also working on a webquest type idea that is a whole class activity – i havent really seen anything like it yet, but maybe I just havent looked far enough – and I would like some feedback on it and maybe a class who is willing to give it a try, once it is finished. Please let me know if you are interested, or if you know of other upper primary teachers who would be.
    Cheers,
    Tammy

  2. Sue T says:

    Thanks for your comment John. It has been a pleasure reading your entries and I will give global classroom a try with my classes ,but I’m not sure if it is for high school students as so much that is on it is primary. Great to meet you Sue

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