Sunday, August 26, 2007

The point of blogging...

Recently Chris Lehmann tweeted about some graduated students contacting him about and I have found a few requests in my email box recently as well. While it is flattering to be considered "interesting" and people who know me know that these are the types of things that keep me up at night...this is a REALLY busy time of year. Many of us have spent the summer learning, connecting, applying and now we want to serve up a 7 course meal of great "stuff" to our teachers and are busy planning. Everyone knows we WANT to share the message of 21st Century in schools (me for my own selfish reasons--my own digital kids) but the last thing I need on my plate when ramping up for a new school year is to have to do a graduate assignment that isn't my own.

I have to say first, that I LOVE the concept of this assignment....send preservices students out to look at how the skills are being utilized, reflect on what they read, make connections and then create something to show what they have learned...What do we want kids to do when they read? We want them to make
connections, reflect, interpret, and then write their thoughts...HMMM
isn't that the point of blogging. Read, reflect, question, analyze, create....One of the best thing that I have discovered this summer (although it didn't do well by me this evening) is scribefire. Scribefire is a firefox add on that allows me to jot notes as I am reading my feeds...creating posts as I go...the only problem is you MUST save as notes as you go in case of a firefox crash. I read a post, comment read another post, make a scribefire, save as note...eventually I have created my own post, my own meaning from what I have read.

In having the student email the blogger, they are still asking these students to use 20th century ways to get their questions out. I guess my concern is that by having them read and then email the blogger they are losing the concept of collaboration (a 21st C Skill). When a bunch of students email questions that were probably addressed already in the blog, it not only creates a lot of work for the blogger, it also limits the conversation to those 2 people...ANYWAY, I came up with a creative solution of a google doc where I posted all of the questions and answers. If your paper is due Friday too, feel free to email me and ask to be added as a viewer :)

If you are a professor, and you want your students thinking about 21st century learning, rather than asking your students to email a blogger have them comment on what they have read...set up RSS to subscribe to their username if you want to see where they are leaving their mark. Create a google doc for your notes or have your students skypecast your next lecture. Have them create their own learning networks via Ning or tappedin If you want to contact an edublogger (or 2 or 3) ask them to come into your class via their elluminate VRoom or request that they set up a flashmeeting. MODEL the skills that these teachers will need to be using to engage their students when they have classrooms of their own.

AND if you are a preservice teacher and you have this assignment I encourage you to comment on some of the blogs you are reading...start the conversation there. Create your OWN blog, reflect online, talk to others, become an advocate for your students and how they learn.
Pay attention

Cause when they grow up....

I may be ruffling feathers this evening...Thoughts?

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1 comment:

  1. Here's what you did in this post that I like - you offered a solution to "your" problem. I too applaud any professor who is pushing his or her students to investigate 21st C learning tools. It shows forethought. What do you think the reasoning was for asking students to use e-mail rather than comments on the blog? I know from your tweeting that you figured out who the professor is. Have you e-mailed to find out why the regression in tool usage?
    Great post with many fantastic recommendations.
    Thanks for making me think.