L-derBob makes some interesting points in his blog about whether or not we might be a little too overzealous right now in our efforts to have our students blog. Are we running th risk of makig it just another one of those boring assignments that teachers hand out?
I have thought about this some already and will continue to think about it for a long time probably. I haven’t started blogging with my students, and I can take this time to try to understand both my motivation and the technology a little better. What I have figured out already is that I enjoy blogging. I opened a blog before this EVO course began, but I never did anything with it. By the exposure I have gotten to it through this course, I have become comfortable with it, have learned how to do some basic things with it, and I have begun to see how I might use it with my classes. I know that I would never have gotten to this point on my own. I wasn’t that excited about taking the weblogging course; I just wanted to take a course, and it seemed like it would be easy and, I hoped, interesting. I certainly never thought I would get into it as much as I have. So I am grateful for this opportunity.
A lot of what I do with my students has a similar purpose. I expose them to computers and the Internet as much as I can because most of them come with very limited knowledge in this area and I feel that everyone should at least have an idea of what’s out there available to them . That is one reason I think I might have students blog. It is something going on that they probably don’t know anything about, so I want to expose them to it.
Also, we write every day in class. They quickly become comfortable with that practice. Blogging is a natural extension of that. I allow my students to journal on the subject of their choice usually, and I would expect to “assign” blogging the same way. But why would I want them to make that switch? I can’t totally answer that one yet.
I understand Bob’s point about not limiting student expression to blogging, to the written word. It is a valuable point to keep in mind. My colleague is taking the EVO video course right now so we can think about incorporating video into what we do, too. To me that is the real bounty of the EVO – it lets us experiment with technology to see if it works for us before we commit to using it in the classroom.
So as I said, I have to think about all this more. I need to think about why I would have my students blog and how it is going to help them. I shouldn’t do it until I have answers to those questions.