This post is for Kim who has kept me going! It’s been great receiving her supportive comments. I read them and think … OK – maybe it’s not such drivel after all 🙂
The abstract (like everything else) still needs fixed.
Unfortunately, I think I’ve gone off on a tangent again ?:(
Current thinking in the review of literature suggests that it is possible to draw on the online communication skills already being developed in pupils’ lives outside of school. The literature also proposes that, as blogs and wikis are not unlike the new media tools currently being used by young people today, these media could potentially be adapted by schools to allow e-learning to occur successfully.
This study sets out to investigate whether weblogs and wikis and other emerging social software tools can be used to create an effective on-line learning community. The research is confined to one particular class of primary 7 pupils who have been using these new social software tools since entering their final year of primary school. A fresh approach to using the blogs and wikis was adopted during the three month research period and the children were given the freedom to use the tools as they wished within a supportive online environment. The teacher’s role became that of a facilitator, and guidance was provided through creating a sense of online audience by submitting comments on the children’s posts regularly. Offline, new interesting posts were shared with the children.
Particular consideration is paid to:·
- Online Identities / gender issues·
- The relationship between the online / offline environments·
- Resulting impact on teaching and learning·
- Consequential formal and informal learning
A case study method was adopted. Data was gathered systematically throughout the research period and consists of:
- Observations – regular checks in order to monitor blog posts and comments, and wiki entries
- Field notes – updated regularly on a blog set up for the purpose of narrating the research journey
- Interviews (structured and unstructured) – in order to establish views of all concerned
- Triangulation – enlistment of a sceptical colleague and a critical friend to ensure that the perception of events is fair and accurate
This case study consists of two elements. The first is concerned with the wider field of focus, and analyses the breadth and depth of posts and comments. The second narrows in to investigate any formal / informal learning taking place, and explores the useful features and barriers of managing web 2.0 tools with primary school children
The findings show that the relationship between the digital and the real worlds began to merge and this had an impact on teaching and learning. The children’s informal online voices began to have a direct influence on what was to be included in their more formal offline learning programme. Sharing the entries from the blogs and wikis in the offline environment of the classroom had a direct influence on the teaching and learning taking place. The curriculum became more ‘child led’.
……. I keep editing this final bit AAAAGHH!
I’ll try writing the acknowledgement section, or something else less likely to hurt the brain!!