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BeboPress, er, WordBo, er…

June 8, 2007

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/568420I’ve been monitoring my pupils as they start to investigate the WordPress blogs I’ve set up for them and I’ve noticed something interesting. They use comments in a very unusual, but understandable, way.

Most of the class have Bebo accounts (hence the reason my Bebo friend count has started going up), and if you’ve used Bebo, you’ll know that it has a slightly counter-intuitive way of using comments. Bebo doesn’t let you make comments on your own page (eh… why not?) and so if I want to respond to a comment on my page, I have to go to the person who made the comment’s Bebo page. This makes it very difficult to follow a conversation, and might go some way to explaining why pupils don’t quite grasp the traditional blog model (if there is such a thing)…

As things stand, some of my pupils are getting comments on their blogs, and then going to the person who made the comment’s blog, picking the top post, and leaving their replies on that post… all of which is making it very difficult to follow the thread of a conversation. So, the first ‘blogging’ lesson next week is going to be on how to use comments, all of which just goes to show that sometimes the natives do need help from the immigrants…

Has anyone else seen this… or do I just have some unusual pupils? 😉

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. DorothyCoe permalink
    June 9, 2007 8:34 am

    I’ve noticed this but wonder if the pupils find it difficult to follow the thread of the convo or just the immigrants? In my experience, though admittedly this is only with my own family/friends bebo network not with pupils, it is much less of a “problem” for them.
    It’s more like a reproduction of a real-life conversation in a large group where people can sometimes talk across each other pursuing their own thread, and it is what happens in chat rooms too isn’t it.

  2. June 9, 2007 9:26 am

    I hadn’t considered the chatroom analogy… maybe it’s me that’s unusual (no need to answer! 😉 )

    I’m tempted to show them what I consider to be the usual way of commenting (in other words, as we are doing here), but perhaps I should just keep quiet?

    Anyone else got any views on this?

  3. June 9, 2007 12:26 pm

    “I’m tempted to show them what I consider to be the usual way of commenting (in other words, as we are doing here)”

    I would, It’s probably help them out, and perhaps enthuse (if that is even a word…) them more about the whole blogging thing.

  4. June 10, 2007 11:47 am

    On the basis that you are widening their abilities to communicate in different settings – I would teach them how it’s done ‘traditionally’. It’s true they already have the skills to communicate in their chosen style -but it certainly won’t hurt them to be aware of other conventions.

    What do they think?

    Here’s the thing too – I recently asked my head of dept. to look at my second year’s internet safety wiki. She posted a comment on the home page discussion board congratulating them on it – which many of them replied to. One or two of them apparently replied or commented on it in the middle of other discussions. When the class got back together the ‘freestyle folk’ were -without my saying a word- advised to post it ‘where Miss can read it’.

    It’s quite touching really.

  5. June 10, 2007 12:47 pm

    Being honest, the decision has really been made for me on the basis that, if I don’t encourage/threaten/cajole them into responding immediately after the original post/comment, I am going to go even more loopy than usual!

    I take my hat off to their ‘multi-tasking’ ‘multi-threaded’ approach to communication, but have realised that it’s probably just one-step too far for a helpless immigrant like me! 😉

  6. June 17, 2007 2:17 pm

    Ah so that is the reason you showed us that I think it is much easier to do it like this(one comment under each other) than it is on bebo, I still remember the time i spent hours trying to make my way back through a conversation( that was really confusing) and in the end giving up, it was too hard.
    Oh yes I have introduced my parents to blogging and made them read the blogs we had to read for homework! They say they are not sure about it yet, I will work on them!

    Rachel.

  7. June 17, 2007 4:12 pm

    Hopefully you won’t need to ‘work on them’. I hope that the work we’ve got planned should give them the opportunity to see for themselves how blogging can be of immense benefit in the classroom. Who knows, they might end up like East Lothian’s Guinea Pig mum… she set up her own blog and has been writing about what it’s like to be the parent of a pupil at a school in East Lothian… I think this is an excellent way for teachers to consider more what they do in class (and also – for example – how much homework they should be setting!)
    Thanks for your comment! It’s given me much to think about…

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