As I have been thinking about the blogging with my Grade 5s (this is my second year) and reflect on recent reading from Will Richardson , Bill Ferriter and Pernille Ripp to name a few, I realized what it was.
Conversation. Real talk.
My kids are commenting on each other's blogs and keep it going but the deeper reflection that I was hoping for didn't really materialize.
And it's my fault.
In trying to get and keep the flow going by frequently responding in and out of class - me, the kids and some parents, we (well, me, actually) didn't seek out other student bloggers or spaces to engage in conversations or discussions about things that matter.
Things that might get the kids thinking and responding and arguing and digging deeper.
I didn't get around to availing of #comment4kids (the Twitter hashtag that invites connected educators to visit student blogs with or without their classes) this year to bring readers to my students' blogs. Readers whose comments could have sparked new questions, new thinking, new perspectives.
That being said blogging did accomplish several things I had in mind...
I feel strongly that a sense of purposeful writing - for themselves and writing for an audience other than me -was established.
I know students experienced the creative buzz from working digitally with the features of Kidblog and embedding other tools they used such as Youtube, Photostory3, and other sites of interest.
I could observe the outing of 'experts' in the class as students called on each other for assistance and I had students teach each other and me how to accomplish what we wanted using various applications!
I was able to provide opportunities for collaboration as students worked together on our Learning Scrapbook blog.
Blogging also supported other observations...
I do know that students who were shy in class found their voice when on the blog.
I do think that the 'social practice' of communicating with me, their classmates and very importantly their families is enhanced greatly through our blogging endeavours.
I have come to realize that I have to do some things differently when I return to class in September.
If I want their blogging to make a difference,
to have them begin to understand what it really means to be a digital citizen,
to make the most of the opportunities that connecting with others can bring,
then I have to have them get involved in the community of bloggers - develop networks -
and be part of the world in a more visible and interactive way.
Can't wait to get back.