The second Task:
Search for sources of how blogs can be used in school/education to support learning. Quote the most interesting parts in a blogentry and add your own thoughts.
I found the article “The seven-year-old bloggers” at the BBC-internet-site.
It is about young british pupils who use weblogs as part of their normal routine. In the teachers opinion it gets children more interested in school work they might otherwise have disliked.
In his experience the children enjoy using the weblogs so much that they happily do extra work at home. Their blogs are about things that interest them, e.g. Cricket.
The seven-year-old pupils are doing what 14 or 15-year-olds are expected to do, so the IT-knowledge is very good.
Furthermore most of them have made greater advances in literacy than the teachers would normally expect for their age group.
The teacher (John Mills) says: “They are really involved. They know it’s different, they now have something that lets them speak with their own voice. Adults tend to tell children what to think; weblogs give them a chance to voice their own thoughts”… And in addition:
“There’s a degree of trust involved. They know that if they post anything they shouldn’t, their weblog will be taken away from them.”
Other teacher share Mills opinion and see opportunities for using weblogs across all areas of learning.
I think the fact that the pupils are very young is interesting. It´s amazing that they are able to combine the dealing with writing (I find out that british childs start school at the age of five) and the use of a computer, especially using the internet/ a blog. So they improve their efficiency in expression, spelling and IT-knowledge at the same time.
The premise for this kind of education is, however, a teacher with the required skills. It would be great when it works, but this teacher is only an exception so far. But- the article by the BBC was written in 2004! Maybe there are now more teachers who follow this example. In Great Britain and in other countries.