This post was also published on MUSE '13
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
From MUSE: Student blogging: woot!
I just read a great article on student blogging from the Guardian UK, and now I'm strongly considering making blogging a big part of my curriculum next year (and perhaps trying to get the other teachers in the grade on board - perhaps this will even make it easier for them to integrate the new Common Core disciplinary literacy standards!).
Some concerns I have and my initial thoughts on how to tackle them:
1) Many of my students hate typing. I have been thinking about this for other reasons as well, and I've almost decided to take some time out of class to teach keyboarding. What with budget cuts typing/keyboarding classes have gone by the wayside with everything else, and, honestly, it probably didn't even need to be a whole class in the first place. But I'm thinking a class session on the qwerty keyboard, a couple practice sessions with The quick brown fox, and maybe a quiz or two (a competition?!) would at least get them started. Heck, we could even read Ella Minnow Pea along with it and work on coming up with even better pangrams. (Yes, I pulled the book to look that up. And that made me realize that it really is an excellent book to teach! Censorship! Speech! Epistolary novel!)
2) Many of my students don't have computer access at home. I think this is also part of a larger problem that I want to tackle early on. Our students need to work on getting access to technology in order to be equal participants in the working world and in social discourse. I'm thinking this will require a multi-pronged approach: 1) Working with students at the beginning of the year to ensure that they have a plan for studying (a physical location at home/school/library/coffee shop/etc, a planned time, a planned way to tackle distractions, etc) and a commitment to implement it. 2) Bringing parents in to help implement. 3) Working with families to increase access to technology for all members of the family - whether this means collecting information on community computer classes (or holding them?!?!), library hours, etc., or whether this means working to get cheap computers and reliable home internet access I'm not sure. I'll keep you posted and share any resources I find on the Community Resources page.
And for those of you worried about putting your kids on the internet, an excerpt from the Guardian: