Saturday, October 21, 2006

Teaching with Blogs

Well, today was the first day I had a chance to look at the blog posts from the class I am studying. There are three blogs from three different classes. They are all reading the same novel right now--To Kill a Mockingbird. This is the third time that I have worked with this teacher as she incorporated blogs into her classroom. Oddly, the first two times we had 100% of parents and students consent to being a part of the study. This time there was between 1 and 4 parents who said no. I thought that was interesting, and I wondered how much the media and politics was involved in parents' perceptions of technology.

Another future study would be to interview each parent whose student participated in the study. Let them look at the blog (they are already invited) and hear what they have to say.

A lot more scaffolding was done by the teacher as she tried the blog for the third time. Unfortunatley, one thing has stayed the same. Technology problems. The school had two mobile laptop labs at a cost of about $15,000-$25,000 each (I was told by the principal). A couple of the laptop were deemed "broken" by the new technology specialist. Some of them were missing a key on the keyboard. The teacher made a long list of the problems and gave to the technology specialist. The tech person's solution was to take the broken laptop's off the cart, pile them in the corner, take the working laptops off the rolling cart, and place the computers in a room of teacher who has no students.

When Teach (that's the person I'm working with) tries to get students access to the computers at school the electrical outlets can't sustain the power that is needed. Wireless internet goes in and out, and calls to the tech person go unheeded. Any teacher who wants to blog has to have a backbone of steel and stubbornness to go along with it. No one wants to help, and no one really cares about technology. I've read other blogs where teachers said that there was lots of support. from administrators and fellow teachers. I'm a very positive person, but where I live--in southern Missouri--people see technology as a t.v. and a radio, and there is not much interest in learning how to integrate it into technology.

No comments: