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John Johnston @ eLive07 : The World Wide Wall Display

May 23, 2007

John JohnstonAs many of you know, John Johnston of Sandaig fame is easily one of the best edubloggers going… and I say this because he is so passionate about getting the pupils to do the work. John is/was talking about how blogging can be a valuable and logical extension of the traditional ‘wall-display’. As such, it was an excellent introduction to potential uses of logs in the classroom…

John started by reminding the audience about the difference between Web1.0 and Web2.0 in the sense that Web1.0 was essentially read only while Web2.0 is a Read/Write medium.

As he explains, the purpose of blogs as wall displays is a natural extension of the work already done in many classrooms… and has its roots in the the ubiquitous school newspapers, but of course with the benefit of instantaneous publishing and – as John went on to point out – instant comments.

In a sense, it is easy to say that Blogs are easy to use, and as John said, ‘even a child can use them…’, but what I think is really important to remember is that as well as being very easy to use, the pupils really want to use them. When’s the last time you had a pupil honestly asking to use a pen and bit of paper through choice…

CastlesJohn went on to illustrate the power of blogs with some great examples from his own classes, and I was especially taken with the example of the Primary 4 Castles. If you follow the link, have a look at the comments at the bottom and especially the date/times of some of them. Rapid, asynchronous conversation across Europe, and a teacher asking permission from pupils to use their work… Talk about a flat classroom!

One message that I took from John’s presentation is obvious: blogging is a superb skill and tool that can and will make implementing A Curriculum for Excellence much less painful. If you want a class full of successful learners, confident individuals, responsible individuals and effective contributors, you could do a lot worse than teaching your class to blog!

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