Saturday, June 23, 2007

Conference - After Thoughts

It has been a couple of weeks since the conference and I have had chance to listen to the analogue feedback of others. ( You mean you haven't heard of analogue feedback- it's like lo-fi video conferencing - or to put it simply it's talking to someone face to face). Anyway I digress, the conference has had an effect on me, or rather Alan November's talk has left me with a number of things to chew over and I'll attempt to list them below:


Photo credit: Logo II pt 2 by Stabilo-Boss

Don't you get it!-

I have been thinking about this point for some time now; that the whole blogging thing can be a bit of a drag, as you can be out there alone, but this is missing the point. The excitement comes when you get a comment, and this could be an encouragement, a challenge a question or a link suggestion. The point is blogging and the like should be about "The wisdom of Crowds", the idea that 1000 or more heads are better than 2. My wife, who is not a massive blogger, got this ages ago. She is part of a web group for autistic parents and messages from these mums are posted daily, weekly or even hourly. She can keep up to date and she can also respond quickly, if she knows the answer to a question, if not another mum with a similar experience may post an answer. The point is their group works because they share knowledge and support and they can post at a time that is convenient.

In a Primary ICT context, I'd like to be able to blog more collaboratively, with a blog containing several authors. It seems a bit crazy that I am reading Nic's blog about the course I provided last week on animation, when the ideal would be to have a place where we can share what we learned together. This collaborative blogging feels quite exciting and has been a bit of slap in the face as both a revelation and a reminder.

What has been inspiring to see since the conference, is that some teachers have picked up the whole blog idea and anonymous publishing phenomenon. One or two teachers have started their own blog and one has even tried to use his as a space to publish work. The children can then see the feedback they get from others online who might read their poems. This feedback may be accepted far more than the the overnight scrawling of the teacher, though it is not a substitute for good target setting and marking from the teacher. It does though, provide that elusive concept that we have been trying to trick kids into believing, the idea of the audience. Kids know that you are the audience, when you mark their work, even though you might pretend otherwise, but if they post their work on the web, then the audience is real and unknown!

I had written other points here, but I think I'll return to them later. The problem with a blog that lacks anonymity is that I spend too long striving for it to read well. When in actual fact I am now past caring, because I just want to get posting.

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