blogging about blogging

some initial thoughts

Jackpot, Jeremiah! I’m thrilled you found all of these! I’m going to post my initial thoughts here as I go through some of them. (By the way, the links wouldn’t work for me. I had to go into the code and pull out the url’s from there… how odd, huh?)

  1. Science by Davis

    • Used main blog to post thought-provoking assignments. Students were expected to respond to 8 of the 10 or more posts in their own blogs (which are linked on the sidebar and organized by student).
    • Last post (actually first one written) is a rubric to assess blogging participation by students. Interesting to see what the teacher’s metric for success is.
    • Wonder how much, if any, cross-talk (or cross reading) occurs because students are separated in their own blogs.
    • Used the main blog to link to other resources.
    • Deep and meaningful consideration of content by both teacher and students.
    • Interesting that the blog tracks numbers of “reads” as well as “comments.” Very few comments.
    • It would be very interesting to analyze a studen blog or two to see how they represent themselves and their ideas – silliness combined with seriousness, for example. How much do they capitalize on opportunities for self-expression? I wonder how this compares with more traditional assignments.

    2. Mrs. Hanna’s Environmental Care Blog

  • Same format as the previous.
  • An interesting last post titled “Advice for your last blogs” written by the teachers:
    • Hi Guys, For these last blogs you are doing before 9pm Sunday night please remember to write your views, ideas, observations or comments to someone else’s blog. Please resist the urge to write a one line question. If you have an urgent question about the exam either see me Monday at school or email me with the question. I will put my email address on my web site.
  • MUCH shorter student posts – few “reads,” fewer comments
  • Interesting to compare and contrast two classroom blogs that use the same structure in different ways. These first two that I looked at are both focused on environmental science. It would be interesting to find out how they compare on other contextual factors (age and grade of students, type of school, etc.) For example, check out how general these directions are and what scaffolding is offered (minimum # of lines):
    • This week I want you to respond to something we have covered in class this semester. It should be at least 3 or 4 sentences.

3. The next blog by Mr. Chua (psych) was set up and the first assignment was posted and responded to, however it died after that (this was a year ago).

4. The Astronomy blog similarly had 4 posts (by the teacher) and a few student responses, and then it ended. Doesn’t look like they got up and running.

5. Environmental Science

  • At first pass, this blog looks like 4 & 5 – not much traffic. However when I dig a bit deeper, I found a couple interesting things:
    • This is the tagline for the blog: We study the interrelationships between organisms and their environments. Our weblog will allow us to post and discuss current environmental topics.
    • The teacher published only 2 posts.
    • The students published between 5-10 or so posts – they are links, descriptions and podcasts of current events articles they chose to share. It is interesting to see the large number of “reads” even if there are not too many “comments.”
    • Clearly the directions for participation were given offline.
    • It would be interesting to talk with this teacher and her students about how it was used, and what they valued or didn’t like about it. It’s possible that different students chose the readings for the class different weeks.

6. The I-Search

  • How intriguing, eh?
  • You can tell quite a bit about participation expectations from the teacher’s first post. Might be something we want to compare across blogs: Please set up your blog page. You can add photos, text – even links to your myspace page.
    We will review the entire process in class later this week.
  • This classroom blog is a SERIES of 6 posts- each post being an assignment that seems to contribute to a large overarching i-search project. Each stage has an assignment description, a minimum word count, a brief connection to classroom learning, and assessment information (how many points will be given for various student outcomes.) An interesting and uncommon use of the classroom blog.
  • Again, it is interesting to see how students individualized their space – both with words and emerging technologies and multimedia.
  • Unique use

7. Engineering Robotics – not lovin’ it

8. You are who you choose to be – AP bio – fizzled out by the end of September. Interesting that the teacher intended the class to be a “paperless classroom.”

9. Craotan High School: AP bio – Also fizzled out by the end of September – 3 teacher posts and 2 corresponding student posts.

10. A Breed of Science – (the teacher’s name is Breed – he he) – no teacher posts. Students tended to post once or twice with a link to an article and a brief summary / reaction.

11. What is everyone torquing about?  (AP Physics of course)

  • Interesting blog – I think it should be included because of how the teacher uses the space to be personal with her students.  Again, it seems the blogging assignments were given offline.
  • Student posts over the semester (3-5 posts generally) consisted of 3 lab write-ups and 2 other posts.  I didn’t see any comments on student posts from my quick search.  I wonder why this seemed like a good place to post lab write-ups.

Bottom line

  • None of these seems to nurture collaboration, especially peer-peer collaboration.  I also did not see any evidence of input from “outsiders.”
  • Few introduce new forms of participation.
  • There does seem to be power in giving students their own modifiable learning space that maintains a personal learning history and allows for multimedia communication that can capitalize on emerging technologies.

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  1. * jfrink says:

    Hmmm…I see what you mean on the psych one, but saw some merit for the Astronomy. The side bar of student posts seem to be the real value here. For example: The student who told the story of going to a friends house and on the way seeing a star. The teacher then responded to this with some more information re: the ‘star’ that was more likely saturn. This seemed to be the beginning of a dialogue. Not overly rich, but a number of potentials in the posts. I also saw the blending of personal and classroom which was one of the ideas we were looking for. It does seem not overly valuable…but could be included in the broader listing as it seemed to show some of the ideas we are looking for.
    What do you think? Maybe we can find these better illustrated other places?

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 11 months ago

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