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!!
1 week ago