27 Apr 2007

Blog Goner?

I played cricket last night (we have a staff team!) and came back home and checked the latest post from several other blogs that I read. Joe Dale's blog featured an interview between himself and David Noble on use of technology, and in particular blogs and podcasts. I was very interested to listen to the interview, and felt that both the questions posed and the answers given were excellent. I was also interested to listen to the various viewpoints on Scottish and English blogs, and how there are more and more cropping up. However there do seem to be a number of blogs that are started up and then are either left to die, or just disappear, and I started to wonder why.

The Northgate blog started up almost a year ago, and to be fair, when we launched it, all the staff in my department were up for it, and were keen to chip and contribute. Eleven months on, and it is now just me, for any number of reasons. Some colleagues felt that getting to grips with the technology outweighed the possible advantages. Some felt under pressure to write things on the blog, whilst others didn't have the time. So as I look back at Northgate MFL, there are a few things that I have personally found challenging -

* Having the time to blog.
That for me is the key thing. As a teacher, especially at certain times of the year like this, most of us are incredibly busy, and sometimes writing your thoughts and opinions on things instead of sorting out Year 11 coursework is not the best plan.

*What to say?
When the Northgate blog started, it was designed to be used by our own students. As we have moved on, I notice that other people from other schools begin to see some of the things we publish. Does that mean that I should cater for those outside of my original intended readership? In a week's time the school magazine comes out with a full page article on the blog, so that finally, the whole community will get a chance to read what it is about. Do I starting think of tailoring my content for parents and possibly local businesses? As yet I haven't. I've tried to keep it focused on the students.

*Finding things to talk about which are relevant.
I have set homework via the blog, uploaded useful resources to help students prepare for exams, offered links to other websites, and articles. We've embedded video so that students can watch relevant stuff from home, all of which has been well received. I'm always desperate to see what other mfl bloggers are doing so that I can learn from their ideas.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Great post Alex.

I think we are all experimenting with blogs and podcasts, but by sharing we establish some sort of consensus over good practice. We shouldn't feel obliged to have to constantly update and I think it is vital to ask our students what they think about what we are doing and which experiments they find particularly useful.

Your school blog is really interesting. For example, I really liked the post about Flickr cartoons. Inspired!