News, Info and IB Student and Staff Blogs

September 16, 2015
by Ann Lautrette

Take risks, blog and learn

I’ve spent a good part of the evening clicking on student blogs at random and reading their posts. It’s left my mind a little bit blown by the sophistication of some of the writing; like Nathania’s reflective book review on ‘Circles’ by Dave Eggers. She writes so eloquently about the comments the writer makes on our modern, social media driven society. 

Arjun writes passionately about Bromo house and why he wants to be a house leader. He shared a video he aired in assembly this morning which made me giggle, and proud of his communication skill.

I can see TOK thinking creeping into our Year 12 students and some of the blog topics demonstrate deeper thought process and a new perspective on life. Patrick manages to turn inspiration from an Economics lesson into an assessment of happiness. That’s the real essence of what the IB Core should do: both take from and add to the subject areas, and give students a means by which to reflect on the interconnectedness of the disciplines.

The concept of a ‘comfort zone’ was a bit of a theme this evening, or maybe my discomfort at being attacked by mosquitoes tonight has heightened my attention to comfort! Hyo Jun ruminates on the connection between comfort and study – redefining ‘comfort’ in various situations, which shows a real understanding of the lack of fixed knowledge and fixed definitions as we’ve been discussing in TOK. Megan took a different approach; suggesting that magic happens when we take risks and step outside our comfort zones. A good mantra for any IB student or teacher! 

Another thing which impressed me tonight is the quality of the academic discussions which are taking place over the blogs. Bryan, Mr Thirkell and now me, are having an interesting discussion about the nature of listening, emotion and assimilation. Bryan is self-studying linguistics and using his blog to summarise his learning: an impressive feat for a 16-year old. In this case, I have to agree with Sugata Mitra who is currently spending two days at BSJ with teachers and students: learning does happen when you get out of their way. All we did was give Bryan a blog, and pretty much left him to it.

These are fantastic examples of how a blog can be a catalyst for learning, a place for reflection, a way to develop superb written skill and a way to communicate with others as part of a learning community. I urge other students in Year 12 to build their blogs and develop an understanding of what a good post, and a really good comment is. Blogging is simple as a learning tool: what you put into you will get back.


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