Sunday, October 5, 2008

response re blogs & wikis

The following is what I have learnt & done with my students.

Mahtomedi High School is predominantly affluent, overwhelmingly caucasian & benefits greatly from technology.

I have discovered the following so far (Sunday Oct 5th).

3 out of 4 of my classes questioned so far:

  • 71 of 82 have an idea what a blog is;

  • 5 of 82 have set up their own blog;

  • 3 of 82 still make use of their blog.

In class last week 2 of my classes were led by me to explore blogs & set up their own. Their blog must still exist & operate in 4-5 weeks.

  • 70 of 82 had an idea about wikis;

  • 1 made use of a wiki.

Those same 2 classes have now investigated wikis & have been divided into groups to operate their group's wiki.

They will be using them to create a product that explains a province/territory in Canada (it is a geography class).

Nearly all students are familiar with & have used MySpace & Facebook.

All the best,


Update: each of my student groups has now presented their 'blog product' to the class.

Each group now has to do an evaluation of the exercise.

October 14th 2008.



Carl Anderson said...

Gordon, I appreciate your skeptical stance on this whole "digital native" notion. We need to take a more critical view of our mass assumptions. There actually is a lot of emerging research (similar to the little survey you did with your students) that debunks the "digital native" myth. However, wikis and blogs have seen more use in education than other web 2.0 tools that at their foundation share the web2 read/write manifest. I would be very interested to learn how many of your students have heard of and/or use any of the following:

1. Social Networking (Myspace, Facebook, Bebo, etc)
2. Grass Roots Video (YouTube,, Vimeo, etc.)
3. Instant Messaging (MSN Live Messenger, AOL AIM, etc.)

Elizabeth said...

Hardly any of my students use blogs either. In fact, when I brought up creating a blog in Tech Class, the students were quite interested in knowing what blogging was. With just a brief description of a blog, one student said "oh so kind of like facebook!?" I guess they are digital natives in some areas and not to others. This is where we share what expertise we have with them and ask for theirs in areas where we may fall short.

Andrea said...

Thank you for the interesting comments about your students use of technology. I am in a completely different situation than you. My school is elementary and the community is lower income with many immigrant families who are just learning English. These students are definitely not digital natives. Many, (I cannot say most since I have no facts) do not have computers in their homes. The students are exposed to technology through public institutions and places like school, the library, stores. Of course they are introduced to much also through watching TV. I look forward to more stimulating discussion next weekend.