I have been working on webskills on a daily basis for seven weeks now trying to make the best out of it. That is to say, I am trying to learn as much as I can before this collaborative learning experience ends and I am left alone to continue learning and implementing what I learn. I am curious to see whether, when this continuous challenge, constant trigger and motivation cease, I will be armed enough to continue, in other words, whether I will be autonomous enough to move on.
This week my anxiety for the success of my scheme to integrate technology into my project at school has come to its peak. Hardly a day passed last week without my checking the blogroll page on our reading club website:
Until one night, to my amazement, the first URL to an all new student's blog appeared. I clicked on it and I was more than happy that the first blog post of a student was long, concise, comprehensive and in good English. I felt as proud as a peakcock. "This is a good sign" I thought. I immediately commented on her post and sent her an encouraging e-mail. The next day during breaks I did nothing but walk up and down the corridors on the school premises to meet as many students as I could to remind them of what they were expected to do, to find out what their constraints or problems were, to advise them, to help them. What was the result? Those who had not even created an email address did so the very next day, and some promised that they would definitely have the requested content to upload on our site during the lesson. They didnot have a computer at home or internet connection or their parents didnot allow them to use the computer during the week days. I had to reconcile with reality.
Wednesday came and we gathered in our classroom. We were lucky! The ICT teacher was on a sick leave so the lab was at our disposal. Some students logged in and started writing on the site. Once they saw their first post published, their faces lit up. It was more than obvious. They felt proud of themselves. Some others were still at the point of creating their e-mail account and others, not familiar with keeping a note of passwords and usernames, were struggling to recollect them. Anyway it was clear that we had jumped on the waggon. We assigned tasks for our next meeting and a deadline was given. This time their pieces of writing would be on Google docs, they would share them with me so I could make comments.
Again enthusiasm faded away after we split and the deadline expired with no sign of response. I e-mailed them reminding them of their duty and giving an extension to the deadline. A day later I received my first notification that someone had shared a document with me. I opened it and I started highlighting parts she could edit. She was there viewing and we started communicating on-line. We were both enthused about this process and we kept on working although it was after midnight. That was my first time to give feedback to a student from home and it was so rewarding for both of us.
The next day I called in to my office a couple of students I happened to meet and I showed them what we had done. They were kind of jealous and promised to send me their work. There is still time. I know they will work on their task during the weekend! Let's see!...