Yesterday we introduced the blogs to my 4th graders and they managed beautifully. Worried that the kids might get bogged down in technical troubles we had a whole crew of adults on hand to help, but all was copacetic. The children were patient, attentive, and did it all just as we had hoped. Afterwards Ellen (my technology teacher-partner) and I were floating on air!
The class was well prepared; all are fairly competent with computers as they’ve been using them pretty much their whole lives after all. This school year they’ve already done lessons on Internet searches (developed and taught by my librarian colleague, fairrosa), those amazon reviews, blog-like journal entries and responses, and lots and lots of writing.
Yesterday’s lesson was mostly to give them a sense of the blogs’ environments, how to log on, how to post/comment/read, and so forth. Each step went beautifully! Along the way we talked a lot about safety and security. As soon as Ellen and I are confident that they understand completely all aspects of these issues (e.g. never writing anything that might identify them or their classmates) and how to write comments on each others’ blogs (e.g. they need to be supportive always) we will make their blogs public.
Until then you can visit our class blog with our initial posts from yesterday on it. And stay tune for more on this topic!