Some observations as I start to assess the personal and class blogs…J1…They really didn’t do as well as I’d hoped with their beats and I think it’s because it may have gotten lost in the mix a bit. I still think it’s a great way to get kids to explore issues in depth, as Jess did in one of the few really good ones. (Although I get the feeling that most of that is just because of the kind of kid she is.) And actually Jillian and Liza did a pretty solid job with theirs as well. But most were acceptable at best. I don’t think I highlighted them enough to the kids, the way in which Barbara does each week as she summarizes and links the best/most interesting of the class work. (Time is the problem for me once again.) Still, as I enter the Media class, I know I need to have the group weblogs more accessible and readable by others in the classes, and that I need to do more of the filtering of content for them. I need to do more pointing to excellence and thoughtfulness.
On the other hand, my J1 Class Weblog surpassed my expectations. They had nothing but thoughtful exhanges on a variety of topics, and I think they learned something valuable about sourcing and linking to information. We had almost 200 posts in March alone…that’s an average of about nine per student. Three kids posted 15 times, almost once a school day. I think as a last class weblog assignment, I’m going to have them post about their experiences with it.
The J2 Class Weblog, as I’ve said before, was just totally different. Very random posts, some personal exchanges, some depth but a lot of less than thought provoking stuff. And they did it almost totally during class, a product of the looser structure to the class. Their personal weblogs, by contrast, were more interesting and useful. They used them as notebooks, and I think it helped to keep things together for them. Still, I wish there were some more personal responses in them. It just be the nature of the course (I think creative writers would probably adopt more strongly) or my lack of nurturing. (I did pretty much turn them loose with all of this.)
Also, I need to make sure that I can get into those group weblogs and respond and interact with them.