Our second guest post comes from the 6th class pupils in Ransboro NS in Sligo.  In Part 1 of this post their teacher Damien Quinn gave his thoughts on blogging.

“Without deviation from normality, progress would be impossible. In the classroom, this blog is nowhere near normal!

I think it is great for voices to be heard, as there is a full range of Twitter, RSS, and Facebook options. It is great for posting about your interests. Recently Luke did a Colours! 3D post, James did a post on his Eddie Stobart Collection and Síofra did a post on Google Docs.

You can do things on the blog that you never could in your copy, such as videos, pictures, links and comments. Some of the main things I like on the blog are the comments, the fact that both posts and comments have gone through a moderator (I’m not sure if you can do that on Blogger) so there is no mean comments or posts, (as I said before) you can put up videos, pictures links, etc, and you can personalize your blog. In a copy, you cannot go back and edit without making a complete mess of everything, you cannot re-arrange your work without starting again and after a while of writing, your wrist gets sore. However, on the blog, you can edit easily, re-arrange your work whenever you want, and your wrists don’t get sore as easily. You can’t rip pages, leave smudge marks and it is easy to spot and correct your mistakes on the blog. However, these are frequent occurances in the copy.

Overall I think the blog is infinitely better than writing in copies, and I’d say that there are others who feel the same way.”

By Kaitlin

“Sixth class in our school do work on the blog. I love working on the blog because we have learned so much from it.  You can do many things on the blog like art work, creating images, doing projects, news items and lots more.  Every day we are learning something new in the class.

I like doing my homework on the blog because you can look at it and see what mistakes you have made and correct them before you submit your homework. It is great for checking your spellings too. I am able to comment on my friends’ homework and they are able to comment on mine. We are able to read and see our classmates’ homework when teacher has published it. Everybody has different ideas on some of the homework submitted and when I read it I  learn lots more from it.”

By Alan

“I think that our blog is great to work on because it doesn’t feel like work! I always feel that whenever I go on the computer it is fun. So that way I associate our blog with having fun.

I like the way that everybody is so positive on our blog. We learned about making comments on a blog so that we don’t just write “Well done” and “Good Job” and “Cool!” Now we know the steps for making a comment and this has improved the blog immensely.  It has also improved the standard of the writing in the comments.

On our blog we don’t only do English. We do a wide range of subjects which makes it more enjoyable as you are not constantly doing the same thing. We do Irish, a daily maths puzzle, novel work, digital art, history, projects and sometimes we upload pictures of the art work we do at school. I think that this wide range of subjects makes the blog more interesting and much more enjoyable.

I like the way that the blog is always accessible. If we want to check up during the holidays we can. It is a good way to keep in touch with our class. Sometimes people put up pictures and write a little about their holiday.

I really enjoy our blog and how it has improved our standard of writing. Thank you Mr.Quinn for setting up this blog and making all of our work more enjoyable!!”

By Maedhbh

“I think blogging is a great way for people’s voices, let alone pupil’s voices, to be heard. If you look at the Internet today, the majority of popular/useful websites are WordPress. WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging tool (apart from Blogger), is a great way to (ahem) document your lives. It’s a great way to get your voice heard on the Internet, as there is a full range of Facebook, Twitter and RSS options.

Moving back to the school side of things, Kidblog is an amazing tool. You only have to look as far as our ‘Newest Posts’ to see the wide variety of posts. Síofra recently did a Google Docs post. I did a post on Colors! 3D. Lots of other people show what their interests are, like James with his Eddie Stobart Collection post, and Jamie with his X-Box post. There’s stuff you can put up on the Internet that you can’t in real life, such as videos, links, pictures and posts (as I’ve said before) on what your interests are.

They best thing about Kidblog, though, is the Parental/Teacher Controls. In WordPress, you can post anything you like, but spammers or trollers can fill up your comment section. Kidblog (being an adaptation of WP), has literally nothing WP doesn’t have, apart from the Parental/Teacher Controls. The Parent/Teacher Controls basically let you create select groups, or a ‘Class’, and moderate the content. While I think you can do this in WP Kidblog makes it infinitely more accessible.”

By Luke

“Today for our homework we had to write about why we like doing homework on the blog, instead of in the copy. The main reason I like the blog better, than an English copy is, that it doesn’t take as long and it doesn’t feel as hard.

On the blog it’s easier to notice one of your mistakes, especially because we have spell check, which I think helps us all. It is also easier to correct a mistake on the blog, all you have to do on the blog is delete the wrong word or letter, and replace it with the right one, but in the copy it isn’t as simple or neat when you have to correct a mistake or two.

I also think that work on the blog doesn’t feel like it’s as hard as work in the copy. Mostly because copies are associated with school, and the computer or laptop is (for teenagers) associated with our social lives. Then for that reason to us it’s easier than doing your work in a copy.

I personally really like blogging and I like receiving and giving comments which is another great thing about the blog. I think that the blog has improved a lot of our English work and I think that it is an extremely creative way of helping us get our homework done.”

By Clodagh

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