Saturday, May 21, 2005

Developments in the SG Blogosphere: (1) School Blog competition & (2) Blog Meet

Two developments worth noting:

(1) First National Interschool Blogging Competition
The first ever National Interschool Blogging Competition in Singapore, co-organised by SingTel and the Ministry of Education (MOE), will be held from 1 June to 31 August 2005. Here's the press release (dated 20 May 05). The press release says the school blogs can be read here from 1 June 05.

I like this quote from Ms Tan Teng Wah, the Deputy Director of , MOE Education Technology Division:
This competition is a good way to highlight to schools the potential of blogging as a useful tool for teaching and learning. Students can potentially use blogging for activities such as writingjournals, creating online portfolios or group work dialogues.

Like many good ideas, they remain only as "potential" until they are being realised. Some ideas for teachers and students to consider (not for the contest though):
  1. Students can blog their compositions or essays, either finished works or work-in-progress. It's a good way to solicit comments, feedback, and in the latter case, a way to enhance the quality of one's writing.
  2. As a student, I could even blog about what's interesting (or not so interesting) that's taught in class. It's a kind of revision or sorts.
  3. Teachers could blog about key points covered in class. Maybe a particularly tough concept of idea (like math). Better yet, some quotable quotes from students. That'll be a way to get their students to pay attention.
I know our teachers are really bogged down with work, pressures from principals, students, parents... Not easy to find time to blog. And I'm sure the cynics would say, "How would blogging produce better results among students?".

I think that's like asking, "How would reading produce better results." It depends on what you read, and how you apply what you've read. Same with blogs. It's only a tool. The rest is up to how it's applied.


(2) Singapore Blog Meet
The event is shaping up nicely. Tomorrow.sg gives an update here, among other things. This quote from part of the email interview is worth noting:
Who actually spawned the idea for the site? ...
...the idea was floating around - call it synchronicity. But must credit James who actually went ahead and built the system.

Kudos to James but I congratulate the team of editors too. You need more than one person to sustain a good thing. It's clear the folks at Tomorrow.sg are doing what they love.

James explains why he does Tomorrow, and Mr Brown clarified his stand about the editors and editorial process. Here's more on how the suggestions are moderated. My suggestion to the editors is to post such information as an FAQ. And perhaps quite soon, they might want to think of how to co-opt or groom some more volunteers to act as editors. I'm sure they will not have problems with recruitment.

The SG Blogosphere is getting really interesting. And I don't think we're seeing a fad.


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5 comments:

  1. while i think it's a good thing that MOE is recognising the blogging phenomenon, it does not seem like the 'get it'. to me, it looks more like an effort by singtel to push their moblog platform. and what happens when more kids are moblogging? *kah-ching!* Singtel wins!

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  2. Let's see what happens. The teens are often alot smarter than we give them credit for. Anyway, there's an article in Today, that mentioned "there would be "no strict no-no's" laid down on taboo topics" and students are expected to express themselves freely (i.e. responsibly). The fact that we have an MOE division supporting this is a good thing.

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  3. just an idea. teachers might be able to motivate their students to write better reports (in any subject) if they know that the best will be "published" online in the teacher's blog. this way, students don't just bring home their work to their parents--they can tell their parents to google their work (and parents can tell their relatives, etc.). and it won't be too much hassle for the teacher, either, after setting up the blog because posting one student's paper every few days won't take too much time.

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  4. This is a good one...visit my class digital anthology: www.digitalanthology.blogspot.com. Students are my priority. Please post a comment in any of their works, as what the other teachers did, to motivate them to work harder. Thanks, keep writing, I will be reading.

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  5. To Teacher Sol... I've just been to your blog... I salute you and your students. Wow. Powerful stuff.

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