My Students' First Mobile Blogs!
(Click HERE to see the students' very first mobile blogs)
Well, I say MY students, but they're my colleague's students. They are fifteen 'Advanced English' students studying Wordsworth poetry, and I'm working with the teacher to integrate a mobile blogging project into the unit of work.
Anyway... yesterday I took the class for a lesson to set them up, and to take them out the back of our school into the bush to post a 'hello world' test blog.
The setting up went quite smoothly. Students signed up at www.utterz.com, using their school email address and a nickname that is unrelated to their real names (their identities thus obscured), and entered in their mobile phone number. Utterz uses this information to recognise the student blogs. Students can instantly publish audio to the Internet by calling a local phone number, and images/text/video by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
The next step was to pipe their blogs from Utterz to the Wordpress blog that I had created for them: http://wordsworthreflections.wordpress.com. So they told Utterz.com what their wordpress username and password was.
Setting up took about 45 minutes, and then we walked out into the bush. Our school is right on the bush so this was easy.
At this point the student's don't really know anything about Wordsworth. The unit of work kicks off in three weeks after the school holidays. I know quite a bit about Wordsworth because I studied him at University and have taught him in English classes myself. So I gave the students an inspiring speech! Wordsworth saw the universe's authentic spiritual power in nature, I said. Nature was beauty and truth. Humanity's industry alienates us from this beauty and truth.
I asked students to split up and spread out, and find some space, and look around, and then ring the local utterz phone number and record an initial blog. The technology did not work for all students, but it was a great start. I was so excited to get back to school and, sure enough, their blogs were there at the website.
I can't wait until next term to see what comes of all this!