No teachers – a lot of pupils

At the ”Tell us…” blog we were three schoolclasses
in grade 5, from three different countries having a
four month exchange. This meant that we constantly
had about 80 authors and readers on the site, which
kept the blog interesting and ”alive” all the time, as
there was always something new to discover.

We had no teachers present on the blog, only pupils.
This maybe seems a bit strange for a schoolblog, but
turned out to be a rather good idea. We could see that
the pupils felt that the shared site was ”their” meeting-
place. They were really writing only for their peers and
not for the teachers.

When the expected readers was only other pupils, all
the writing of posts and commentaries was always for
a clearly defined audiance. Everybody seemed to feel
respectful and serious about their writings, both when
thinking about content and the form. Most pupils also
showed a strong wish to develop their language skills
to be able to express themselves more elaborated.

Our pupils were happily writing their posts and then
eagerly waiting for responses…and everybody really
got reactions too. In many cases we could see that
the commentaries developed into nice conversations,
which made the teachers happy as well. Communica-
tion was actually one of the goals with our blog.

We had no teachers present at the blogsite, but of
course we were present in our classrooms, trying
to encourage and support the pupils efforts. Some-
times this was a rather tough task, especially when
a lot of pupils were eagerly asking for help in their
hurry to meet the publishing dates.

Also when they were writing comments….many of
the pupils showed this sense of urgency, wanting to
give their reactions and answers to their new friends
abroad almost immediately :
”Can you check this…?”, ”How do you spell that..?”,
”What is the translation for…?”, ”Can my comment
be approved, right now?”…Uhhh !..any teacher can
become a bit exhausted by such intensive activities
in their classroom.

 

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