Reflecting on the Blog
I started my education blog around the same time as I had my students begin a blog for the classroom--Pre-College. Now that the year is starting to come to a close, 14 days for the Pre-College students, I am in search of an answer for the question, "How do I do it better?"
Here are my reflections and questions on classroom blogging:
The Blogging Goal--the classroom blog is a place where students react to the literature we read in class. The blog gives them a place to wrestle with theme, plot, characters, and self-to-text connections. The blog allows them to interact with each other outside the typical classroom setting, while giving every student the opportunity to be heard (read). How do I introduce blogging to incoming students next year in a way that decreases the attitude that this assignment is just like any other assingment?
Blogging Success--I've noticed that in the semester I've had students blogging, some of the quietest students in class often have tremendous contributions through the blogging medium. The students who have regularly attended to this assignment have subsequently written, at the very least, one paragraph per week. The students have been provided with the opportunity to interact with literature and each other outside of the classroom setting. With multiple classes, is it best to have one blog site for all classes, or separate blog sites? I would have to encourage students to look beyond their class blog if we had separate sites, adding to the blogging experience.
Blogging Failures--students too often just punched something out at the last minute or just to get it done. Posts were a summary of pages read and not an interaction. Students just didn't do the blog. Comments on other posts were often too brief or lacking in content. Grammatical mistakes were abundant. Should blogging in the classroom be held to the same standards as essay writing, or should we give into the text-message culture?(I might not be ready for that)
How do I introduce blogging, and encourage blogging, in a way that prompts students to want to post? Students posted, did their comment, and forgot about it until the next week. How do I encourage students to go beyond just the assignment and use blogging as forum for discussion?
1. Should the teacher post on the classroom blog?
2. Should the teacher interact, through comments, on the classroom blog?
3. Should posts be graded, if so, what should the criteria be?