Friday, November 04, 2005

What Just Happened?

Yesterday I brought both of my Honors American Literature classes into the computer lab to set up their blogs. I had two prompts ready--one to do in class to work out any problems or questions, and one to respond to as homework for reinforecement. The responses were outstanding! My students' eloquence impressed me, and I noticed that many took risks that they would have circumvented in a large class discussion. I also felt as though their blog entries freed up some class time by exploring in depth many of the issues I would ordinarily spend a class period discussing. In class today I developed a powerpoint to highlight some of the blog entries, and we used them to clarify certain points. Overall, my students were engaged and excited about blogging. Several of them went far beyond the basic expectations and blogged multiple times last night. Class feels a little more intimate now, and the blog has offered us a way to extend those conversations that somehow always get shortened in class due to time constraints. Between the blogging and powerpoint, I feel a little like I just shoved my classes into a time machine and jumped into the 21st century classroom (next week I will implement rocket backpacks to expedite their speed down the hallway!). Except, of course, for the fact that most of students were already light years ahead of me in the technological universe. As a final note to myself--I need to remember that as seductive as the technology is, my focus is on constructivism. No blogging for the sake of blogging.


Blogger Karl Fisch said...

I think it's great that they responded so well. That's exactly what I think blogging can do for us when we do it correctly. But I do think it's important to remember that we are not blogging - or using any of the technology I'm throwing at you - just for the sake of the technology (even if it is seductive!) We always need to remember that technology is just a tool to help us achieve what we're trying to achieve - thinking, productive, engaged, caring students. We should use it when it's appropriate and can help us achieve those goals.

I'd like to see those rocket backpacks, though . . .

1:35 PM  

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