Saturday, February 27, 2010

What Blogging Can Teach

A week ago or so, my students' West Civ Proj blog went live.

And all I can say is "wow'.

I've been blogging with my kids for three or four years. In fact, my student's personal class blogs double as their notebooks as well. But this is the first time we've gone and published a public class blog.

Going in, the idea was to make a magazine (as evidenced in the blog post linked to above). But, as this week has drawn out, the kids have requested that we put 100% of our energy into the class blog -- as a BLOG.

I can understand their thinking. After all, the blog offers instant (as well as global) response.

So far this week, blog comments have instigated discussions about quality of sources, generation gaps, and responsibility. The kids have learned that they're not always the best spellers, logicians, or copy editors; and they've also learned that there is such a thing as a legitimate audience and that people outside of their classroom actually care about what they think (and how they think).

I'm very proud of the kids over our first week. And I'm interested to see where they go with it. Hope you get the chance to check out what these students -- a group of 14 and 15 year olds with no previous experience with blogging -- are doing with interactive media.

As I see it, the(se) kids are alright.


  1. @Nancy

    Just wanted to thank you for your sincere comments on the students' blog posts and express gratitude for your support of their endeavor.

    - Shelly

  2. I hope I didn't overwhelm them with comments; I may have gone a bit overboard in the last few, and I'm sorry for that.

    They really are doing great work.

  3. Great work! After reading their posts and talking to other teachers about it. I'm coming to realize that our networks can be leveraged in so many ways. For example, I found your blog, through Mr. Watts (thank you!) and I found his blog through goes on:) So, it may be duh to everyone else, but I am seeing how teachers can use their networks to help blogs like the Western Civ one get off the ground right away--for instant feedback/pushback.

    Again--it has been a blast to read their thinking!!

  4. @Andrew

    This is the Internet. I wouldn't be doing the work of a teacher if I only let them see the views of people who agree with them.

    Connection means connection. And all comments are a reflection of this. An authentic audience is a reflection of this. And being aware that one exists within a connected network and must be responsible for what one writes and how one argues one's point is a reflection of this.

    The classroom just ain't what it used to be.

    I hope you did overwhelm them. They need their feet put to the fire.

    I also hope they overwhelmed you.



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