Friday, February 20, 2009

To Blog or Not To Blog: Part 2

Sue Waters sent me To Konrad's blog on Assessment after I whined in my previous post about my student bloggers. Here is my comment on his blog. We've had a student blog for almost three years averaging about 50 bloggers a year. I teach gifted kids, many of them brilliant thinkers and writers albeit reluctant.

I decided that I wanted to see if I could get my kids into the blogging habit so before Winter Break I made blogging mandatory. I only see the kids once a week so they were to blog at home. There was a 'reward/punishment' system built in to the requirement. 95% of the kids blogged/commented every week. The quality varied from "State Assessments ( and why they are completely and utterly ridiculous)" to "My Last Basketball Game" to "Why Am I Addicted to Gummy Bears". Comments too ranged from profound and insightful to stupid. BUT we were blogging.

Several weeks ago I decided to drop the requirement and the posts and comments dropped off considerably. Now I'm rethinking my purpose and what the next step is--I just realized after reading your post that the lack of give and take commenting was more disappointing than 'silly' initial posts.

There was so much focus on getting the task done (required post) that there was not the level of reflecting and thinking I was trying to engage the kids in. Thanks for letting me think more about this here--I know I can contribute in a different way. I'll be thinking about that. This was my aHa!!

4 comments:

Sue Waters said...

The other posts on Konrad's blog that you should read are how to grow a blog. Also recommend if you can find any recordings of presentations he has done you watch them as it provides a clear explanation of what he has learnt.

I think you will find there is a recording on Ustream by Will Richardson last year at NECC with Konrad presenting. The first 3 minutes there is no sound.

nbosch said...

Thanks Sue--I guess I'll have to decide whether to pursue blogging with avengence or just for fun. Part of the problem may be the continued dummying down in the US classroom--kids don't write much of anything in many classrooms of my students. So I'm expecting high level reflection when many classroom teachers are expecting the 'right answer'. They seem to spend most of the time practicing for test taking! Yikes, one of the beauties of NCLB.

Sandra Foyt said...

Interesting post! I struggle with this at home, encouraging my kids to blog. It's an ongoing challenge to motivate my kids to post on their blogs, especially when they aren't getting positive feedback (from peers.) I think the hardest part of this is just making the time for blogging in the face of so many competing interests.

I look forward to seeing how you deal with this!

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