Hi Paul, having blogged with my students for about 10 months, I am quite certain, that blogging lifts the standards. They want their work to look good and try to keep out all spelling mistakes. When they share their blog post with other global partners, they need to expand their posts to cover all angles, or their peers pound them with many questions.
How exciting is this!! Tonight I was on the computer late, trying to get organized for my two days in Melbourne, when a foreign language popped up on my screen, from my skype window. However, the text was in English and my first name was used. I quickly realised that this must be my newly acquired friend from classroom20 who was looking for schools to videoconference with. I cannot even attempt to spell and I have difficulty pronouncing her name in English as she is from Russia. We will be videoconferencing with her classes in the first week in December. English is their second language so we will need to be very patient. Their city has millions living in it and is close to the European border. However, the school only has 150 students. Her class is about to go to Prague for 10 days, to sit some exams.
The audio only dropped a couple of times, otherwise all was crystal clear. The video was perfect.