This one’s for any teachers out there thinking of blogging.
Half way through the year and a good time to review this process and ask, “How well has it gone?” Well, I suppose the success of anything depends on how we measure that success. If I measure the success of blogging with the class by how many students have taken to it completely then, at best, I would probably grade about C. A small group of students, around five in all, have taken to it with outstanding results. Their blogs are interesting to read, they are pushing themselves to write and they have demonstrated an aptitude and ability that adds to my understanding of them come report writing time. To see their enthusiasm and interest has been a genuine pleasure and, to be honest, has given me the drive to keep the blogs going.
Some students haven’t taken to the process so well, but this is simply a reflection of the way things can go in a classroom. In reality we are always going to have that diversity, where some students fly with a task and others struggle to even get going and this is exactly mirrored with the blogs. Some may read this as a failure of the whole process, but I disagree. I always believe in giving students the opportunity to show what they can do and by giving every student in my class that opportunity I ensured that, while some have clearly been struggling to adapt, others have blossomed and developed their writing and skills in ways I hadn’t envisaged at the start. I was never going to get a full class blogging continuously throughout the year (though I did harbour a glimmer of hope for that), but I have allowed those students an avenue and outlet with which to demonstrate their interests and ability outside of the traditional, limiting confines of the curriculum walls. If this is the way I measure my success with the blogs then it changes into a fabulous A.
“You can lead a horse to water…” Timetabling blog writing, trying to connect to other schools and students around the world, trying to get parents involved, none of these are guaranteed to work and, in our case, most have definitely enjoyed only a very limited success (or none at all). This alone could have proved disheartening for students, but the fact that they are still plugging away is another measure of their success. No matter what we do there is never any guarantee of success, the only success is that we do it at all, in spite of the doubts, insecurities and failures. Not doing this would be a complete failure, but trying it is a success in itself.
To find out how the set up of class blogs went from start to finish have a read of The Big IT Project on the Staff Room page.