This list can only be initial observations and thoughts as we have yet to dig through and analyze all the data from the year but here are a few observations:
- Blogging has given the students new perspectives on the world. Places like Canada, Ohio, New York and Scotland are not just names but places where friendships were made and nurtured.
- The power of words began to form in students' minds. As Johnny said on his poster, "When you use words, you can make your post soar like a flaming eagle over the sea and you can make your post pop with good words."
- Students prefer typing over handwriting. This was mentioned quite a bit throughout the year.
- Comments are number 1 on the list of what students like about blogging. This said sometimes students can feel overwhelmed when they get too many comments or they get comments that are too long.
- Many students felt that one of the most fun things that happened in blogging was getting to talk with other blogging classes over the Internet.
- The climate we build around the use of blogging in our classrooms is crucial. Students need to feel valued and safe to take risks in their thinking and writing. An atmosphere of give-and-take between student and teacher is necessary to develop an environment that encourages and respects the learner and their ideas. You build the learning community together.
- Students like having a choice about what they write.
- Students need lots more practice on writing reflectively about what they are learning. This is a skill that needs to continually be nurtured and developed.
- Teachers need to be willing to spend the time needed to prepare for blog related activities. In some cases this requires being willing to give up some ideas in order to be able to pursue other ideas.
- The teacher and the student need ongoing technology support during the initial stages of learning about blogging. Having such a system [online or offline] in place before the blogging process begins is necessary.
- Preplanning integration of blogging activities into the curriculum is crucial. Applying the pedagogy with the use of web tools within the blogging process requires creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to explore and experiment.
- It is extremely advantageous to recruit commenters ahead of time. This can help ensure that the blogging can become a rich experience for the student, the teacher, and the commenters. Many rich experiences can develop from those who comment on their own volition but the teacher needs to oversee and monitor the entire process carefully.
- Commenting appears to be a strong motivating force that inspires students to continue blogging.