Some weblog analysis from Sarah via Hector: “The course weblog enabled us to explore ways of collaborating, as a class, in ongoing deliberations of writing and film via online asynchronous discussions, in smaller groups, and with professionals in the outside world; of dynamically publishing multi-media class exercises, discussions, and oral presentations with streaming video; and ways of modeling good writing and responding to writing through teacher postings.
We have evaluated the short-term results in three ways: student grades, student evaluations of their own work and of the technology, and the number of Ward Prize nominations from this class (an annual award given to the top essay written by a first-year student). All three tabulations indicate the remarkably positive impact of the weblog technology on students’ critical and creative thinking, their analytical writing skills, and their intellectual confidence and independence.
Future courses will take weblog use another step: incorporating individual student weblogs and creating a weblog zine for “final” publication of work from the course. This kind of dynamic, organic evolution of computer technology in the classroom indicates a promising future student-teacher-technologist collaboration across the disciplines. A technology used to create community and for exchanges of information, now is a dynamic and vital tool that elevates student work, and is compelling us to think in new ways.”
Some really good ideas here. I love the idea of a weblog zine for a final publication…why hadn’t I seen that before as the perfect exit outcome for my J1 and even J2 kids? Media too. And another point to highlight is the modeling of good writing and responding to good writing through teacher postings. That’s something that I need to explore more, though it’s tough since what I teach is not technically considered “composition”. Creative writing and expos teachers should jump on this, I swear.
I’m thinking that at some point I’m going to sift through these months of notes and bring together a list of potential applications and uses of weblogs as a kind of quick reference for teachers (and for me.)