Thing 4: Blogging Begins with Reading

I thought this will be the part of this course that I struggle with most.  I don’t usually spend much “free” time reading, but as I chose the blogs to read I found several of them very interesting.

I know one thing we looked at in the Upper School this year was homework, and how much was appropriate.  Although I disagreed with much of what Mr. Meyer stated in his blog, Why I Don’t Assign Homework, I found it very interesting.  He makes some good points, but I find his attitude a bit defeatist.  To not assign homework because students will either not do it or cheat is sad.  I haven’t always taught at Woodward, so I know the struggle it can be, but I don’t think one should give up.  I believe homework should be meaningful, and can be.  It is an excellent way for students to check retention.

Boeun’s Scribe for December 4th has had me thinking quite a bit.  I struggle with some of the writing.  I must remember that the student is an 8th grader, and that less formal writing is usually appropriate for blogs.  I think that students must also learn that there is a time for more formality when posting.  I guess I have to decide what level of formality will accompany different assignments.  I LOVE the idea of having a student post the “notes” for the day.  Students in my 9th grade Honors Geometry course often struggle with the nature of the class lectures since they are discussion and theory based.  I think that having a student post the notes where other students can respond would be an excellent way for them to make sure they got what was needed from the day, as well as let me know through monitoring the blog that they are doing well.  I’m not naive; I know some student may use it as a crutch to not pay attention, but I still love the idea.

I found the most important blog I read to be Spies Like Us, by Vicki Davis.  I think that as we all begin to incorporate Web 2.0 into our classroom, we will have to consider her recommendations of having an Academy wide acceptable use policy, as well as discussions about ethics (maybe in Peer or SOAR).  I think it is our job to guide the students in these areas if we are going to be requiring them to participate in Web 2.0.  What any student posts, whether educational or not, will reflect on his or her school.  Adolescents don’t always see how their actions now will shape their future.

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