July 26, 2007

The end of phase 1 - December 2006

I decided to divide my MA project into three parts:
Part 1: Contextualizing the use of technology
Part 2: Collecting Data + Reviewing theory + Practicing
Part 3: Becoming Autonomous

On December 9th, 2007 we finished Part 1. Participants were aware of the use of blog technology. They can post and comment on the blog, add images, research on the net, include links on the blogs, but they still need adult supervision.

July 15, 2007

Blog Meeting 11 - 9/12/2006 - Christmas Party

We had a great Christmas Party. The kids got presents, we had some cake and soda...
We had a great time...
We will go on vacation and will be back in February!

Blog Meeting 10 - 2/12/2006 - Things we still have to do this year!

We had a busy day again!
We talked about Eva's visit, posted the answers she gave us, posted pictures we took the previous week and wrote a 'thank you note'
We also talked about the “Programa de Leitura para as Férias” (January 2007).
And ... I gave them a questionnaire to be answered at home. Here are the questions I asked:

  • What's your opinion about our Pedagogical Blog Project? Why?
  • What did you learn how to do here?
  • What was difficult to learn? Why?
    What was easy to learn? Why?
  • What would you like to learn next year?
  • Have you got any suggestion?

My views: The group works very well together, they establish roles and each one of them is involved in the process in his/her own way. They do not need my help to use the blog anymore!!! Isn't it great?

Blog Meeting 9 18/11/2006 - Eva Furnari's visit

We met Eva Furnari, a brazilian writer. It was a great experience!!

Blog Meeting 8 - 11/11/2006 - Organizing our meeting with Brazilian writer

We did so many things...

We searched the net. Topic: Eva Furnari.

She was born in Italy and came to Brazil when she was a kid! The kids didn't know that.

So, after seraching, each participant had to come up with a question to ask Eva Furnari the following week. The questions were so good... And the best of all, they posted the questions on the blog.
They were so fast... and they are really familiar with the technology and the blog features...

Blog Meeting 7 - 1/11/2006 - Learning how to search on the net

Then, they came up with a subject and learned how to search. They learned so fast... I guess that's because their level of knowledge was not the same, I mean, some of them already knew how to search, so they shared their knowledge... Knowledge construction...

Then we went to blog search portals:

Blog meeting 6 -25/10/2006 - Posting and commenting

We had a very busy day. We learned how to insert images on the blog. They kids felt so happy that our blog could finally have images. We also wrote José Arrabal a 'thank you message'.
The kids were familiar with the blog and I had the impression that they know what to do and how to deal with the blog resources. They only feel a bit confused to remember how to post (loging into blogger) and how to comment (without logging into blogger), but that's a matter of time, only.

Blog Meeting 5 - 21/10/2006 Meeting a writer

Today we met José Arrabal, a Brazilian writer. The opportunity of talking to him, learning from him was a great experience. The kids were really happy about it, they asked questions and took notes.

Blog Meeting 4 – 11/10/2006 Sharing experiences

I used my video camera andl we kept on working.
Kids are really enthusiastic about the blog.
revised our posts;
decided on standards;
read posts and learned how to make comments.

Blog Meeting 3 - 07/10/2006 - Computers offline!

Computers were broken. We had a technical problem and the internet wasn't working. It's the first time I had to deal with it... I went to a Lan House and printed the posts so that we could share experience.
Kids were great! Even without computers they kept working and made the changes on the paper I brought!!!

July 11, 2007

Video and Blog

Check this video.
The Machine is Us/ing US by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University.
Prof. Wesch talks about Digital Ethnography on his blog: http://mediatedcultures.net/ksudigg/

July 6, 2007

Blog Meeting 2 - 27/09/2006 - We started posting

I met the kids for the second time and distributed folders. This way they could keep their material (guideline worksheets) safe. I provided them with a username, password and simple commands that they would need to start posting. We also talked about Internet ethics, that is, username and password is something they couldn't share with others.
I asked them the following question:

  • Do you think you can post only by reading the worksheet instructions? Without my instructions?
Since we only have two computers at the Library (that are quite old, I would say), we decided to share the computer and have each person type some sentences of their book reviews. This way, everyone would have a chance of using the computer. (increase motivation!)
They chose the book reviews they wanted to post and started posting. They also decided on some standards they would like to use (Post subject = tittle of the book)
My views:
Kids had different computer abilities. Some of them were more digital literate than others. They learned the commands that were necessary to post and used them collaboratively. They shared their knowledge and learned together.
Follow-up work: They had to get into the blog during the week and continue typing theis posts.
Possible problems they may face: Time constraints - kids do not have computer at home, they use the library computer.
I recorded the meeting using my MP3. Recording is good but it's only audio recording.
I also recorded some parts using my Palmtop camera but I have to hold it to record and I can't do both things, record and interact...

What do the kids write about?

The kids are very special people. VIPs, I would say. They are special because they come from a not-priviledged social context, that is, they come from public schools, they don't study in well equiped schools ... and they love reading!!! Isn't it great? They always go to the public library (Belmonte Library) and they read a lot... just because they love reading.
And since they are very special readers, they were invited to join this reading/writing project: the blog project!
In the blog, they will write book reviews. The idea is to come up with a blog that can be a reading reference to other readers all over Brazil. To share their reading experiences with other readers.

Crianças e Jovens na Belmonte

Here's the blog:
Crianças e Jovens na Belmonte

Blog Meeting 1 - 20/09/2006

It was our first meeting. Maurício (10), Yaskara (10), Sicília (13), Talita (10), Anderson (11), Kátia (18) and Amon (21).
They were so excited! A bit shy, of course, but really anxious!!
We decided to have two groups. One group would meet on Wednesday mornings and the other would meet on Wednesday afternoons (I would supervise the afternoon group). And we would meet on Saturdays twice a month.
We talked about blogs, their previous knowledge on the subject, and we visited some blogs. In Portuguese, because that's their mother tongue.

My views: It's the first time I deal with a pedagogical setting that is not in English. Tha's my professional background. And it's so different from what I usually do. But I like it. I used my palmtop to record our conversation, but when I got home I noticed that the recording is awful. I have to try to find a way of getting a better recording.

A new blog!!! Biblioteca Belmonte

On September 13th, 2006, I went to 'Biblioteca Belmonte' for the first time.
I presented my ideas and they were accepted by the people from the Library and the Department of Culture.
Then, I went home and started to think of ways of putting my blog ideas into practice. After testing two blog softwares, I decided to use http://www.blogger.com. It's certainly more user friendly.
I'm pretty anxious about our first meeting next week.

Lingua e Cultura Blog inspired students!! (??)

By the end of the term, students were assigned to create a webography. Eight students (out of 18) published their webographies on blogs spontaneously. Have a look at them:
http://docs.google.com/View.aspx?docID=ah992shx3cjb_0hg78m5&revision=_latest (that´s not a blog, the student used docs.google.com)

I had the impression (it's not scientific, but personal feelings) that they were inspired by the classroom blog, but I didn't have a chance of talking to the students.

Lingua e Cultura I 2006 - Blog

Then, on February 2006, I started taking the course "Língua e Cultura I" at Departamento de Letras Modernas FFLCH - Universidade de São Paulo, USP with Professor Leland E. McCleary.
I decided to create a class blog, but the students didn't get into the blog idea. This made me compare my 4th grade students blogs and this one. Why was motivation so different? Only because of the age? This made me reflect on the reasons why this was happening. And I think I got to the following conclusion: pedagogical blogs are useful tools when teachers and students are really connected into blogging. And unfortunately this didn't happen because I was only a visiting student.
Have a look at it:

The first Blog - 4th grade 2006

Here's the starting point:
A pedagogical blog that I created for my fourth grade students. This experience was unique. It was the first blogging experience I had. I managed only two of the school blogs:
4th grade A:
4th grade B:
These blogs helped me find my reserach way at the University. From that experience on I decided to concentrate my MA research on the use of Weblogs in Education.

My personal weblog

My research project for my MA is about the Use of Blogs in Education and I don't have a blog myself. That's weird... So, I felt like having a blog myself. I decided to create one. The starting point is to link all the pedagogical blogs I've created so far. And to have a collaborative reflection space on the use of weblogs in pedagogical settings.