Thursday, August 30, 2007

Miles Ahead but Miles To Go

After spending a little less than two weeks with my new classes of sophomores and juniors, I'm impressed at how far ahead of the game they already are in terms of technological proficiency. Nearly all of my students already had working blogger account before coming to class this year, and I didn't have to spend much time reviewing blogging expectations because they already knew the rules. Although many of my students did not come from laptop classrooms, the ones who did are infinitely helpful with helping their classmates troubleshoot. It's exciting not to have to revisit so many issues that seemed to dominate class last year.

Of course, this means that it's time for the bar to be raised. My goal this year to have one unit in each class in which my students are using Blogger to communicate with people outside of class. I'd love to find another class, such as an A.P. class here or a class in a different school (or even a different state or country!) that would be willing to collaborate with one of my classes. I think my classes need to start communicating with people outside of the Littleton community when discussing current controversial issues. I'd also like to expand our peer editing so that students of different ages and backgrounds can offer each other feedback. Think about how much my Honors sophomores, for example, might benefit from A.P. Literature students editing their essays. I'd like to see my juniors communicating academically with college freshmen so that they know what their professors will expect of their critical thinking and writing skills.

Any takers?


Blogger Karl Fisch said...

As I emailed you, we have a possible connection with mentoring 5th graders in their writing, and you made that connection with the University of Michigan on the other end. Let's find some time to sit down together and talk out your specific ideas, then perhaps we can make a formal request for participation via The Fischbowl.

9:00 PM  
Blogger bkitch said...

I love the idea of connecting to the outside world. I too, have tried to make these connections. (I mean teaching Spanish, of course talking to natives would be ideal.) However, this is so much harder than it sounds. For some reason I have spent hours looking on the Internet for possible classroom connections for my students to Latinamerica, South America, or Spain, and have had little luck. If you know any tricks, let me know :)

9:51 AM  
Blogger C. Makovsky said...


I'd love to involve my A.P. students in your class blogs! I remember reading your kids' blogs when they were sophomores, and now those students are sitting in my class. I believe they would be eager to give something back to you and to your classes. Let me know how I can help you make this a reality. It's such a wonderful idea.....

6:36 PM  
Blogger Lizzie A said...

Oh my goodness! Kakos! Those are great ideas, so great that they make me wish that I could be in one of your classes this year! I know that eventually I will be your student assistant, but it just won't be the same! Not the same as last year or the year before. As I was saying, I wish that my class had gotten the chance to communicate outside of the little Littleton community, but out of the state or out of the country sounds even more amazing.
I wish that I could have done as you said, and gotten a chance to hear from college freshmen because then I might know what the heck I am getting myself into now with this college essay I have to write for English Lit.
By the way, if you want to see my pathetic first attempt at a college essay, you can ask Gaffney how to see her class's essays and when you can see all of them mine is called "Strong Woman, Tough Times".

9:40 AM  

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