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Friday, February 23, 2007

Inspiration from Claudia

In comments on my draft blog plan, Claudia Ceraso inquires about students' cross-blog reading and commentary, homework, RSS feeds, and the relationship between course blog and wiki. I'd like to respond between the lines of her inquiry (excerpts in italics, below):

  • I understand from your post that drafting may be done at home, blogging will be done at the school. How about the reading of each other's posts and comments? Will that be homework? Will you be encouraging students to use RSS feeds?
That is correct, students will probably do a large part of their blogging in class - especially those without access from home. A number of additional computer laboratories will go online by next fall, so opportunities to do homework in the lab's will multiply. Another option, perhaps better suited to students' lifestyles than mine, is that of blogging from ubiquitous mobile phones. Those who wish to do that can send pictures and blog stubs from almost anywhere.

I consider reading and commenting on one another's blogs part of blogging, hence my rather optimistic projections of three to five student posts per week. Were they to devote their time to generating RSS feeds, I'm afraid that they would do much less communicative writing than they need to. English majors with the computer skills to generate feeds already may be few and far between.
  • Does the wiki already exist? How do the course wiki and blog relate to each other?
Yes, the wiki exists - just barely (it's not open to the public). I'm setting up a PmWiki and find it much slower going than Wikispaces, especially while B4B continues. To describe the relationship between planned course blog and counterpart wiki in few words is a challenge.

Suffice it to say for the moment (almost 12 hours into a constant keyboarding day) that I expect the two parts to be closely interconnected (for example: blog feeds on the wiki): the wiki to contain more mutable, less time-sensitive material than the blog (for example: grammar references); and the blog to serve not only as a model for learning bloggers, but also as a gateway to a local blogging community (as will the wiki).
  • I am particularly interested in these questions because I am thinking about my own blog plans adjustments for 2007.
  • I am adding a wiki to my FCE blog for students as from next April, so I hope you keep posting about how your project develops and the students' response to it.
(Fri Feb 23, 03:25:00 PM JST)

I had visited and bookmarked Claudia's FCE wiki not long before I found her comments on my draft blog plan. I'm looking forward both to returning for a closer look at the wikispaces she has started, and continuing to peruse her ELT Notes blog, which has been in my blogroll almost as long as any other but B4B!

1 comment:

  1. Paul,

    Thank you for this detailed answer. I keep nodding as I read your post.

    The wiki-blog relationship you envision is consistent with mine. My FCE Blog -which has been online far longer than the wiki- has become the node to connect with the global community. That's its essential value -not just posts.

    I'd like to echo your words "I consider reading and commenting on one another's blogs part of blogging." This is the overall purpose I read between the lines of your draft blog plan post -hence my comments.

    Yours will be a blogging, wikifyied classroom I'll be following with interest.

    Regards from Buenos Aires,

    Claudia

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