In a perfect world I’d be able to use the ning I created for Year 10. Unfortunately, I don’t live in a perfect world, and the ning is blocked and will remain blocked by DET. It seems even a closed private ning might encourage students to create their own! And social networking has to be handled with care. I thought I was…. Oh well… sigh. I got very discouraged and haven’t yet looked up the alternatives suggested: wikispaces and edublogs. I will when my inspiration comes back. Year 10 were understandably disappointed. After all the principal had already joined and had promised he would read some of their entries and I was inviting their parents to join. I think they were secretly quite excited at being treated as responsible young adults with something to say.
One thing that has surpised me is the number of students who don’t bring their laptops every lesson. It seems they are a bit disillusioned with the technology or maybe they are just too heavy? I have seen a growth in the numbers bringing them over the last week, since I am planning my lessons around using the laptops for some aspect of every lesson. I’ve also noticed that when they don’t bring the laptop they make sure they have their notebook and pen and write down whatever we do with the laptops including site addresses and ‘how to’ instructions. So maybe the enthsusiam will return as we progress through the year.