PRESENTATION OUTLINE: WHAT TO REMEMBER
CREATING A TEACHER BLOG
Adjust header and description of the blog
Publish the first post
Add the basic gadgets
Brainstorm ideas about what to do on a teacher’s blog
(Some ideas here: www.slideshare.net/cm24/using-web-logs-in-the-efl-class)
Turning this into a students’ blog:
INVITING STUDENTS TO THE BLOG
Set up a blog
Create gmail accounts for them or use already-existing ones
Send invitations to students (when at home) & explain how to accept them
Have them note down the email and password of their Google account and keep a record yourself
Choose limited Blogger profiles instead of Google Plus ones
Demonstrate how to use the blog (basic functions at first)
‘Advertise’ their blog for increased satisfaction (motivation) with the number of visitors from foreign countries
Add #comments4kids hashtag to your tweets to enhance class blog traffic and comments left
Always moderate comments
Always include a short description under the header with the level of the class, the purpose of the blog and a link to your school
Gadgets to be added: labels, useful link lists, page views, blog traffic
Traditional Appearance (better not a dynamic view)
One blog for each level: D’/ E’, B2, C2, TOEFL, IELTS (link and material organization)
WHAT CAN BE ASSIGNED
See the samples of our students’ work underneath and then visit this page:
HOW IT CAN BE ASSESSED
Teachers’ comments under students’ posts -> corrections continuing the discussion in a way that includes students’ mistakes
Private emails with corrections -> Students’ correct the blog post themselves.
Including blogging performance in assessment (alternative assessment) –> willingness and participation commented on to add extra motives
SAMPLES OF OUR STUDENTS’ WORK ON BLOGS AND RESULTING BENEFITS
|In the computer room of the school.|
- Demonstration of class work, resulting in getting a sense of achievement: The FCE (B2- level) students (school year 2011- 2012) had been blogging for years before the acquiring their certificate, having an array of written work to exhibit on their class blog and feeling very satisfied with the 40,000 visitors from all around the world! What is more, an adept mother-blogger methodically copies her written assignments on her e-portfolio.
- Creativity through the combination of different kinds of media: B1-level students were proud to present their favourite recipes, horror films and songs, photos or videos of which were embedded in their blog and combined with written comments. Little George was also impressed by Felix’s supersonic dive; he therefore decided to blog about it!
- Additional help provided at home and possibilities for self-correction: This excellent blogger has corrected his piece of writing on his own, following the advice offered by his teacher in the comment section. What is more, the CPE learners create their vocabulary calendars exclusively online and receive feedback in a respective way.
- Motivation to do more work at home (a type of creative e-homework): For example, reading a book and writing a review or recording songs with useful vocabulary.
- Further research on topics discussed in class: The resourceful female authors of this blog have discovered more information about various extraordinary tourist destinations mentioned in the lesson.
- Written communication with readers, learning how to respond politely to comments: The aforementioned girls interact with their followers with ease, leaving written comments under each post. What is even more interesting is the way little Nicolas communicated with Michael Stout, both of whom can now officially be called e-pals!
- Collection of all helpful links in one place easily accessible by the student: The future IELTS candidates of the school link webpages containing tips, strategies and downloadable material to a blog destined to fulfill that purpose. The same happens with TOEFL candidates who, like the IELTS ones, cherished the idea of having their essays corrected on the blog so as to be able to see the teacher’s feedback on their classmates’ writing, too. Quick typing skills are also a prerequisite for TOEFL exams, this being one more reason why blogging has been so beneficial to these students.
- Participation in blogging challenges to practise writing and broaden horizons.
- Students continue practicing English even after completing the desired course, a case of lifelong learning: George, a former student and a professional seaman, keeps updating his blog by publishing videos and texts about his travels.