It’s been a bit more difficult than I thought it would be to get my students up to speed on the blogging thing. As is often the case when I teach from experience, I tend to assume he same level of enthusiasm and understanding from my kids, and that’s just not the case. Today, though, I think I have some bloggers being born. I’ve had to give them a pretty well-defined form to start, but the plan is to help them evolve out of it into more of a style of their own. And, now, the big hurdle is getting them an audience. I’m going to try to encourage them to post on each other’s sites, and maybe I’ll implement TrackBack. But sometime after the holiday, they’re going to start doing some marketing of some type. I want them to reach beyond the classroom.
Also kind of slow has been their understanding of the aggregator. A few of them are having “oh wow” moments, and they are getting it. But it’s proving more difficult than I thought for them to find feeds for their topics. I think next time I need to set aside a block to get them started with that. It’s more the concept of actually reading from a variety of sources that’s holding them back more than anything else, I think.
What’s cool, despite these humps, is that they’re in the act of reporting. Doing research, finding news, synthesizing the information, interpreting it, and publishing it. Now I know it’s not the traditional form…we’re getting to that. But it’s active engagement in the process on some level. And it’s going to help them when they do get to their “real” stories by providing some background.