The problem? I do not want this to happen in my classroom, if and when I become a teacher. I do not want the students to be excited for the first week, but then are so “over it”, because blogging bores them. They need to not associate it with solely learning.
I think that teachers should inform their students that Facebook and Twitter are essentially blogs and actually I should remind myself this as well. Richardson on page 17 of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts defines blogs as being tools where people, students included, can “share resources and ideas with a Web audience that was willing to share back what they thought about those ideas.” This is why members on Twitter follow certain people. This also helps to explain why people join groups on sites like Facebook, which is to share common qualities.
Students, particularly teenagers, would be excited in class if discussing things that they know and enjoy. For instance, on an educational site like the class blog, there can be a day for students to share either a blog they read on their own or one that they have created. (This of course needs to be pre-scanned by the teacher to check for inappropriate material). It seems like fun has been taken out of the classroom, and computers or technology may just be the way to put it back in.
I probably do most of my “research” (I use this term loosely) when searching product reviews and such, through other’s blogs. This is because real people are discussing real issues that I care about. Students’ feelings are no different. In this course I have come to realize that we all easily can respond to one another, because our interest revolves around the classroom and we are pretty much all fresh off the student teaching slate.
Another great thing as Richardson suggests on page 24 is the fact that the internet is an infinite collaborative space. Blogs can be a great way to expose students to pictures and “interactive” tours of places that they have never been. For instance, when learning about the short story, “The Cask of Amontillado”, the students can find and upload photos of Venice, Italy. The teacher can have the background of the blog set the scene, so visual learners have a way to remember the setting of the story. This type of teaching is largely helpful for educating inclusive classrooms, which most schools have made the switch to.
Mainly, overall in this class I have come to appreciate more the importance of computers. This is my first online course, so it is really interesting to see how engaged everyone is without ever meeting in person. Communicating is so fast and effective now, because e-mails are sometimes quicker than phone calls. Sites like Googledocs and of course blogs allow everybody to interact with each other, without ever really interacting. It is truly bind-blowing.