This wonderful and demanding year has not made easy the process of learning to blog and to apply web2.0 tools in the context of the classroom; the main reasons were that I have been walking with crutches since November and that I have been dealing with serious illness in my family along the last months.
The pace of my daily life slowed down to the point I had the continuous feeling to be always late with my work. Finally, I could be operated to my left knee and I’m starting physiotherapy soon, but this means I’m away from school now, and thus can’t support my students with their blogging engagements.
My blogging journey started on the 2nd May, a year ago, when I agreed to accept the warm invitation from Sue Waters to join the 31th Comment Challenge and learn how to become a better blog citizen. This participation has been the most motivating and thrilling experience I’ve lived on line until now; I met wonderful educators, discovered highly inspiring blogs, and felt welcomed in a live community.
As an Educator, I was beginning this adventure looking forward to sharing whatever I could learn with my young students, as they were and remain the real motive for my engagements on line. However, our school system is not yet prepared to integrate technology in the daily practice of teaching and learning: thus, in my school, we only could explore the web world during lunch break along the third term of last year; this school year I set up a class blog and a few student blogs, but students were soon limited to learn new digital skills on a voluntary basis, as a sort of home work and following instructions through Msn messenger.
During summer holidays I found WikiEducator and its project to share the treasure of culture with all the developing countries; I took a basic course about wiki editing and, in return, I’m still looking forward to contributing with a translation which won’t require to create templates; Phil Bartle has recently invited me to collaborate in his project for Portuguese speaking Africa, which seems to be a precious opportunity.
Along the present school year, from September to December, the Students Blogging Competition, brilliantly runned by Sue Wyatt, has been a unique chance to launch my 6th grades in the blogging adventure; as a happy fruit of this experience, the new blog Bringing Us Together was born and our team was in charge for the first half of February. Since March, until Easter holidays, when I had to leave school to undergo my surgery, a small group of students has been participating in the Students Blogging Challenge that Sue Wyatt is inspiringly running. What I find most wonderful about this experience is the fact that, all of a sudden, you feel as if you have been given thousands of new friendly students spread all over the world.
These 12 months brought multiple chances of working with or just trying web 2.0 tools, social networking and bookmarking sites, but I’ll give just a few examples: we shared our lessons in our pb.works to build the classroom work with others; I enjoyed meeting people on Twine, for a semantic bookmarking experience; I appreciated Zemanta, to get inspiring tips while blogging; and finally Twitter, the best tool to get precious information and to stay in touch with some great educators.
As an aim for next year, I would love to