reflections on introducing the blog to the classroom

I introduced the blog to my Lit. 12 class today as an alternative homepage for the course.
english lit blog
The results were both exciting and a little frustrating.
Students were initially engaged in the welcome excercise , some posting multiple times.
The down side was the subject matter of posts. Some students posted jokes, and comments that were not relevent to the task despite the fact that the task was clearly laid out in the post.
I had to also go in and delete some students’ last names, another detail that was included in the task.
A possible pitfall of the trend of connectivism. Students reading for their own informational purposes provides…lets call them cognitive gaps in their understanding of the task at hand. I find this is not a problem isolated to the blog context, but is apparent in other situations as well.
The result of these cognitive gaps was that student content reflected a lack of complete understanding of what was asked of them. Instead of reading the whole post, which was not long, students jumped on the possibility to have their voices heard on the blog.

Some positive comments:
“we both have an msn blog that displays our thoughts and has a variety of assorted pictures. blogs are fun!! i think they would be very helpful in this course”
Comment by Rachel and Tamara(LOSTaholics

“I believe that blogging things will help the website because it will keep everyone equally updated especially if they miss a day of school” (Robyn).

“We should come up with pet names for the characters in ‘Tales’. Like the cleric could be Screech because it seems like he is a bit nerdy. It would fit well” (Comment by Ellie).

“These blogs are a good idea because they will help students who have missed that day of school or have forgotten what was assigned that day […] what’s a blog?” (Comments by Iain).

Next time:
-provide an ‘appropriate use’ page and have students sign it. We reviewed appropriate use briefly before logging onto the site, but this needs to be actively and thoroughly taught.
-provide examples of appropriate use. Possibly have students follow an ed blog and see what other students are submitting, or have them follow my own blog before introducing it as a tool in the classroom.
redux… (1152) I am tempted to read McLuhan’s post to my students to see what their reaction is…

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One thought on “reflections on introducing the blog to the classroom

  1. Pingback: Palimpsest redux » Teaching blogs…

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