Held Day 1 of another workshop on Tuesday with Day 2 later this afternoon and I have to say that this group of 10 seems to be seeing the potential more than others I’ve had. Sure, there are a couple who are struggling with the technology, but I had a lot of “oh wows” and “so, can I do this?” type responses. I’m looking forward to seeing what they did for “homework.”
Jeremy pointed to Anne‘s good and bad list of Weblogs, a post that it the craziness that was last week I seem to have missed. It’s great. Anne is a real observer, and when I met her out at NECC last year I just got this sense of calm focus from her that always shows up in her blogging. What she writes has this inherent wisdom to it somehow, and this post is no exception, and it’s one of the reasons I love Weblogs. Here’s an example:
Now the “ups” as relates to students are not going to happen unless we have educators willing to take the time to make sure that weblogs are used to make authentic and exciting connections to the “established curriculum in schools.”
That’s what I want my group of teachers to get. Right now, they understand Weblogs as portal, but what they don’t see is Weblogs as a tool for making those authentic and exciting connections that Anne talks about. That’s asking a lot from a two-day workshop, I know. But one of my biggest frustrations is getting teachers, even ones who have been using Weblogs already, to go beyond the portal/filing cabinet phase. My students are getting it, and from a journalism standpoint the fact that they are constantly writing for audience has had a huge impact on their work. That is, after all, what journalists do. But again, this stuff is a pretty easy sell for English.
But I’ll heed Anne’s words and hang in there:
And no, I don’t think blogging will save the world of education but I do see it as a way that education could be affected in oh so many good ways. All innovation comes from people willing to take risks, try new things, think outside the box. We also need to take the time to teach students wise and appropriate use of their voices. Talk to them about how they are representatives of their school and yes, even the world. Weblogs in education can be many different things to each of us but oh the possbilities we can explore. The potential is huge. Let’s hang in there!
Chris Lehmann says
I’m all for hanging in there. At Beacon, we’ve got a few classes experimenting with blogging… more classes using forums… and then we have this fascinating organic blog movement that we aren’t actively trying to grow yet, but it is growing nonetheless. We’ve got about 15 active bloggers who have formed their own reading and writing community, and the numbers are definitely starting to grow. It’s neat stuff.
Hang in there!