ICT - Want to please your head? Start blogging

14th November 2008 at 00:00
Teachers should write blogs to teach pupils about the internet and further their professional development, say school leaders.

Teachers should write blogs to teach pupils about the internet and further their professional development, say school leaders.

A report by the British Educational Suppliers Association (Besa) has found that heads want staff to be competent in using a range of tools to lead and shape learning, specifically including blogs and podcasts.

The need to employ supply teachers while staff are on training days means off-site training can be expensive and impractical for schools, so blogging could be a solution.

"Blogging is an interesting and innovative way for teachers to facilitate learning about the internet," said Ray Barker, a director at Besa.

"It's using technology for what it's good for - communicating and widening the learning experience."

Teachers of specialist subjects, such as Japanese and Chinese, are increasingly using online teaching to support pupils across the country who would otherwise not have access to lessons.

The report suggests that more teachers should use blogging as a classroom resource and urge children to read and respond in a way that reflects their free-time activities.

Mr Barker said there were potential pitfalls, but these would be minor compared with the skills that blogging teachers could learn.

Some blogs on the internet are written by teachers, but they tend to express personal opinions on school life and problematic pupils.

The teacher-blogger known as "Frank Chalk" produced a book entitled It's Your Time You're Wasting, which was based on his web diaries.

"Blogs are very specific to their audience groups and are written with them in mind," Mr Barker said. "Kids will only log into what they've been directed to or what would be of interest. The issue here is that the internet is a skill and one that is fundamental for children to learn.

"If it causes problems, we will just have to find solutions."

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