Well, I have put off this project long enough. I think I have used the excuse that I am wayfinding and don’t have time to think about the end result yet. What I would like to do is start every student in my class (24- grade 8) on their own blog. I have decided to use kidblog.org because I have heard some good things about it. It did literally take 10 minutes to navigate and set up the whole class. The first thing I loved about it was the similarity between this site and wordpress. At least now I can pretend I know what I am talking about when directing my students!
My original intent of the student blog was to be a digital portfolio. This being a place where students could post examples of their work, comment on their learning and reflect upon what comes next. I sent home a blog letter explaining the project and a student/parent contract. However, I have since re-thought this idea…of course now that all the contracts and letters were returned!
I think I was scared that parents would “buck” the idea of having their students involved in social media. I didn’t know how they would like the voices of their children being “broadcast” around the world. But now that I have seen some of the amazing work of classmates and twitter friends, I would really like the opportunity for my students to also receive comments. So, I just sent a parent email changing my plan for this blog and wondering if there were any concerns. Already, I am dreading the one email that could negate this project for everyone.
If there are no negative comments (please God!) I will continue with step one for my students. Today, I asked them to write an “About me” post. I explained that the post needed to be personal and informative to the point of encouraging the reader to continue reading but not too personal to give away private information. We spoke about leading questions, adding a quote to our writing and stating interesting facts. I learned that this is a great way to teach writing traits-voice, point of view, word choice etc can all be summed up in this post!
Tomorrow, pending there are no negative emails, we will begin to post our thoughts and opinions. I am going to ask them to post their “about me” writings as well as one reflection on learning. Do those who use blogs in the classroom offer highly descriptive assignments for posting or do you leave it open-ended. I am thinking that I will ask my students to follow a couple scripts until they get the hang of it and then leave it up to them.
I am excited for this adventure and hope to learn from and with my students!