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TEsol 2006 Internet fair

Cristina Costa

March 15-18. 2006

Using Educational Blogs to Motivate Writing

The Edublog as an extra component added to the course to enhance learning and motivate writing

From Stem to Stern:  a collaborative blog

2 classes (24 students and 2 instructors*)

 

Objectives:

 

Process (strategies & activities):

The blog was introduced to each class by its respective teacher. The purpose of having a collaborative blog  as well as its main features were presented to the students. The students were also told that they would be assigned a blog task per week and that they would have to collaborate and interact virtually with the other class.

The teachers created the blog, giving it a naval look (providing an "authentic" learning context) and wrote a welcoming post.

1st Task

All students wrote self introductory messages and recorded them. Two posts - one for each group - was created and the audio messages uploaded onto the blog.

 

2nd Task

Students were asked to write a story collaboratively. The beginning of the story was provided and students wrote the story in turns through a chatroom. Each student was given a number  (level 4 got the even numbers and level 3 the odd numbers) and when his/her turn arrived he/she had to add a sentence to the story. 

 

3rd Task

Students were given the opportunity to interview a teacher in Boston. They asked questions about her life and reality in the USA, which were later uploaded to the blog. The guest teacher answered all questions and it generated great enthusiasm among the students.  

 

4th Task

This assignment had two components. First, working in pairs, students were asked to write a paragraph describing a person from history. The name of the subject in the paragraph was not revealed  in the uploaded entries.  In the second step  students from the other class were supposed to guess who was being described.   The replys were published as comments to the posts.  

 

5th Task

The ultimate task was to write a witness statement after viewing a short video that was displayed in the classroom. This task was also carried out in pairs.The video was later uploaded onto the blog.

 

Other information:

 

Resources:

Only freeware tools were used.

Blogger provider used: www.blogger.com

WebServer: http://www.tripod.lycos.com/

Audio recorders and editors: http://www.handybits.com/http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Photoshare: http://www.flickr.com/

TagBoard: http://www.codigofonte.net/

 

 

*Teachers:  Cristina Costa 

                     Ramona Dietrich  


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