Many of us get excited reading about innovative ideas/practices adopted by others, elsewhere. Some rush to blog about it. I usually sign off such posts with a stock query,‘why can’t we?’. We have a blog - Giving It A Shot - dedicated to why-can’t-we posts.
We blogged about California Youth Energy Services that engages students to visit homes in their communities to conduct energy audits and offer simple energy-saving repairs. Ashwin picked on the idea for trying it out in Mysore. With help from some teachers, he has initiated a training programme for students of Vidyavardhaka school,Kuvempunagar, in conducting household energy audit .
While he is at it, we would like to see Ashwin volunteer his expertise in IT applications for initiating his school contacts into what they call Edublogging.
Teachers, notably in some Kendriya Vidyalayas, are familiar with web usage. Principal of a Trivandrum school is quoted in their website as saying, “Blogomania has hit the portals of KV Pattom too!…I wish all the students and staff members to be part of this ‘techno’ milestone in the history of our Vidyalaya”.
But then school websites , as a teaching tool, have limitations. Website maintenance and updating call for additional work by teachers. In blogs such labour is in-built. Working a blog is simpler and more straight-forward. A blog,once set up, is sustained by input from participant teachers and students.
As a teaching tool, a blog can be used for keeping class-room discussions going online, beyond school hours. Teachers can build a blog or start a new topic for discussion by simply typing the text into a box and clicking ’publish’ button.
Other benefits of a class-room blog:
1) It facilitates feedback – a teacher can react to what his sutdents write on a given topic; and students can respond to each other leaving comments online.
2) Enables teachers to initiate discussion among students on issues and concerns of public interest; and to assign students projects that entail Internet search.
3) Teachers and students are likely to put a lot more thought to what they blog, when they realise that their writings are open to scrutiny by other students, and parents as well.
4) A blog facilitates networking with peers in other schools, in other parts of the country and the world.