Thursday, May 19, 2005

Take a Moment

I don't know how many of you already know this -- but since Anne Davis has been a teacher in our classroom, I thought you might want to stop by her blog and share a kind word.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The class speaks . . .er . . .podcasts

Yesterday in class, we stumbled into our first podcast. We were talking about how to grade blogs -- and then we got to talking about a lot more. In true Dave Winer fashion, I started the recorder to capture their thoughts.
I was blown away by the words and ideas coming from my students. I am proud of their thinking and the seriousness with which they are treating their education.I only wish the other half of the class had been present for the conversation.
Maybe Next time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Thinking vs. Seeing

Michael said this a while ago -- and I've been meaning to post it since. It's too good to forget.
We were talking about the differences between blogs and online journals.
He said something like:
An online journal is somewhere someone posts their thoughts when they hope that someone will see them. A blog is where someone posts their thoughts when they hope that someone will think about them.

It's a subtle difference -- but an important one. Thanks, Michael.

Blogging Habits

Moe had a bit of writer's block at the end of last week, leading us to create a little space to write down our ideas for when you're stuck and blogging.
As always, Nancy had some really good ideas for ways to help get blogging going:
It seems that the only real prompts are things that we read. Could you post interesting links? Maybe furl a bunch of articles that students could read and comment on in their blogs?

She's right, y'all. I've spoken with Tyr, and he's going to try to put a Furl feed onto that wiki page.
In addition, Nancy has some more advice for when you get stuck as a blogger:

What I have noticed in my own blog is that I blog less when I don't have/take the time to read other blogs. That is what has been going on for the last few weeks. So it isn't the habit of writing in my blog that is concerning me but the habit of reading. I need to make more time for that. When I do, the blogging comes naturally.
Both she and I are working on our "blogging habit," trying to make blogging something that we do regularly. I hope that you, too, will continue to write regularly and thoughtfully after this class is complete. Writing is the key solid thinking. Reading is the key to good writing. It's all about reading, writing and thinking.
You can read more of my writing about my thinking about my blogging habit here, if you'd like.
What do you think?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Something to think about

Hey y'all.
I hope that your weekends were fun and enjoyable -- and that you really got thinking about what "Grade 'A'" blogging looks like.
Either just before or just after you get your thoughts on grades online, I'd liek it very much if you'd take a minute to think about this idea that Will has been writing about lately. It's gotten me thinking and I'd like your opinions on it.
Will writes:
And I know not every student was born to be a blogger. But, I would argue that every student, every person was born to be a contributor, whether that's via blog or wiki or podcast or whatever. We need to create a culture of contribution in our schools where our students' work is non only celebrated but put to use in meaningful ways. Don't just e-value-ate what they do but provide ways for what they do to have long lasting value.

He also says (in a different post):
Whether it's wikis or blogs or podcasts of whatever, I think my new clarion call is that educators must start creating content, good content, and that their students should share in that creation. Tom's also right to say that teachers and students need to learn collaboration with each other, and what better way than to share in the creation of and reflection about curriculum. But regardless the purpose, we need to get our teachers on this train...the sooner the better.

I like what he says about your job becoming that of content creator. I also like that he says that we need to learn how to learn together.
What do you think? Is that a way of learning that you like? Creating and contributing as opposed to being told what's important? Is that how it works in lots of schools?
Looking forward to your input.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Grade "A" Blogging

Well, it's time.
We've gotten our feet wet and have learned a thing or two about how to blog. Now, it's time to start figuring out how we're going to evaluate ourselves in this little experiment.
I'd like for each member of the class to begin thinking about what they should be evaluated on. Specifically, I'd like to come up with a class rubric for blogging. To do that, we need to know what successful blogging looks like. So, I'm asking each of you, on your own blogs, to define successful blogging.
What does it take to earn an "A" as a blogger? What are the skills necessary to blog well? What do good bloggers never, ever (okay, maybe every once in a while) do? What does "good" blogging look like?
How the heck does one earn an "A" in this class? (Also, while you're at it, I'd like for you to propose a final project for yourself for this class. I'm leaving that wide open for now -- the only requirement is that it somehow advances blogging or e-portfolios at our school.)
I'm curious to see your responses. I'll take what you say and try to draft a rubric. Then, we'll discuss that rubric and edit it into something we can all agree on.
Then I'll start using it.

Moe Doesn't Like my Prompts

I recently posted some prompts up on the class wiki to help my students have something to write about when they get frustrated or stuck and want to write but aren't sure if they have anything to say.
Moe pointed out that most of them are not really blogging prompts -- they're journaling prompts.
Help us come up with some good blogging prompts? Please? Moe's itching to write; and I'm stuck.