Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Bloggity, blog, blog, BLOG @ Makahu

This post is for Eden @ Makahu to let you know about what we did today in your school. (This was the original purpose of me blogging "A Journal of What Rachel is doing in Schools." but i have branched out a little bit lately into other discussions)

Anyway - I worked with some students & Phillipa (for a little while) setting up a blog for Makahu School. If you're reading this now it's quite likely that you know what a blog is :-) but for the uninitiated just checking things out for the first time basically blogs are free (usually) online tools that are beginning to be used more widely in education – they are more interactive than a static web page as blog visitors can leave comments on each other’s pages and also they are really easy to use. You can set rss feeds on blogs (put one on your's Eden) and subscribe to other people's blog feeds so you can keep up-to-date with recent postings. They come into a new 'genre' of web tools that has been tagged 'social software' - things like blogs, wikis, podcasting etc - aka Web 2.0. You really need to read around to learn more about the tools - try Wikipedia as a starting point - I'm not going to write about all that here - phew!
The ways we can use them in education we are only just beginning to realise so it's very exciting. The downside (maybe) is that your kids are out there in the open on the www, so there are some potential issues you will be well aware of. So when we were setting up the blog today we discussed those issues – eg not giving out personal information & how to deal with inappropriate comments etc. When setting up this blog i made sure that any blog posts or comments were also sent to Eden's email so he can monitor the activity on his school blog. There are some tools out there worth a look at that provide a more closed environment (for example we use Interact that you have to access through a username & password). Blogmeister is one i have been meaning to get around to checking it out. Tom from The Orchard - link bottom right of this blog uses it - costs a small amount but more control for the teacher - if thats what you want... There are lots of links i could send you too but don't have the time right now - Google it - find out more - use it!

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