The Real Conversation Is Taking Place… But Where?
As you may have noticed, I’ve been a bit busy over the past week taking 40 pupils to the WW1 Battlefields of France and Belgium. I’d hoped to have been blogging and posting more to the dedicated blog I set up for the trip but intermittent access to a PC, Windows 2000, and my complete lack of skill on French AZERTY keyboards meant I spent more time looking after the kids and less time posting. Having got back, I’ve managed to post quite a few photos to the flickr page, and also added the first of the aftermath pieces I want to write for the pupils on the blog. All in all, I’ve done what I can to make the trip live on a little longer for the pupils… but where are the comments?
I really expected the pupils to want to post some comments on the photos/blog, but have been struck by the resounding silence… until tonight. One of the pupils let me into the big secret — the conversation is going strong, but it’s not on anything I’ve set up. If I want to find out what’s being said, I need to brush off my Bebo user name and start searching…
I think we need to remember at times that the pupils are more than capable of carrying on a discourse without our involvement, and that we ignore this at our peril. In the course of following links from the pupils photos, I found out what English homework some of them had been doing, and also who had done it first and passed it on to the others. I’m impressed! It takes the copying on the bus to a whole new level and, while on the one hand it’s ‘cheating’ and doesn’t make you any better at English (that only comes at University where they teach you to copy from lots of people and call it research), on the other hand I admire the ease with which they are exchanging information.
So, the next time you think what you say in the classroom is being ignored, perhaps you should log onto Bebo or Myspace to find out just how right – or in my case, wrong – you are.