Early stages reflection

So, we’re into Week 2 of the project, and students have uploaded two photos – one representing them, and the other showing people who matter to them in their lives.

It’s been exciting to see the photos appear in the group, and even more to see comments coming in, and conversation starting to develop.

Technical difficulties (being blocked at school) and practical issues (understanding how to upload, add text, comment, add to group, etc.) have been ironed out on the whole. Sigh of relief.

I’ve been surprised by the openness of some of our boys – after all, they’re about 16 years old, and it’s not cool to talk about what you’re like, why people mean so much to you – you know, feelings.

I wonder if the presence of girls has softened their writing, or if the anonymity of online writing gives them courage to say what they really think and feel.

Certainly, some of the girls (and boys) from Florida and Finland have written compelling personal accounts, and I think that the peer audience has a lot to do with it. It may also be that the format – connecting through commenting  – is familiar, and that their Facebook behaviour displays an openness that doesn’t always transfer to writing submitted to the teacher.

At this stage, we’re all conscious of the project being one of connections and enjoyment, as well as wanting students to develop their voice through quality writing. I’m not sure how to strike this balance, but I’m thinking about it.

With the rush of getting accounts and following instructions, we haven’t had the time to talk in depth about sharing images online, Creative Commons and licensing, so I think I might put together something on the next post.

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