Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Talk on Blogging

I was reading Barb Ganley's post about teaching a new set of students who weren't taking to blogging maybe as quickly as she would have liked. She had them do a paper version of commenting with sticky notes. In the pilot study last year, I found that students didn't comment too much. They posted a lot, but they didn't extend conversations. So, Barb and I made a decision to scaffold the blogging a bit more, and we tried something similar. We didn't use sticky notes, but I like this idea.

She wrote
But I can't make them like it or even do it. That's their responsibility. Their commitment to make. Yes, I want all my students to have this experience connecting with one another, with themselves, and with the world through social software--but they don't all have to take to this kind of interaction at all. As long as they gain skill in the use of this medium for this kind of deep learning, they can choose to use it or not as they see fit in the future. I've learned not to be disappointed when any one group doesn't really take to blogging. And so far, this group of first-years are moving into blogging versus posting drafts and assignments to blogs, quite slowly. They love being connected to one another; they crave the feedback, but it takes longer for them to see conversation-in-writing as part of thinking-and-learning.

I'm giving a talk about blogging to some teachers on Friday. Even before blogging came about, I decided I couldn't be the police in the class. What she writes above goes for almost everything we do in teaching. She goes on to explain that she had to make some changes in her teaching and in how she approached blogging with this set of students.

I don't know. Her post made me think about some things that I might need to address with teachers on Friday.

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