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It has begun… January 31, 2009

Posted by handspiker in Uncategorized.
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Yesterday in my Work Exploration class I introduced the world of blogging to my six students.  As I have made reference to before I am doing this to stay connected with them during their work placement.  In my talks with other previous W.E. teachers they sometimes feel disconnected from their students when they are out in the field.  He likewise asked them to reflect upon a series of questions to hand in the week after their placement.  However this was hit and miss with who would remember to stop on by and drop them off because they get so used to not going to “class” when they don’t have to.

One thing I have enjoyed during this Masters program is the self-reflection I have done.  I think this should be an integral part of the W.E. program and something I have espoused over the last two days to the students.  So taking what the previous teacher did I hope technology, through blogging, will help increase the odds of these students to self-reflect.  His return rate was about 33% so I hope I can increase that.  After each week they are to blog about some of the aspects of their learning/job to share with myself and each other.  These questions are pre-set and they were given to the on Friday.  I have subscribed to them via Google Reader and one student has already written a comment about herself blogging.  Woohoo!  Hopefully this catches on.

It was an interesting experience on Friday as I led them through the setup of Blogger for each and every one of them.  Most were cool with the idea but there was one that was reticent about using it.  I could not help but think was this what I was like when I started.  Cautious about change, fearful of the unknown, uncomfortableness with technology.  I gave him some kind words of support and offered to just try it out and see what happens.  Once completing the sign up and setting up the Blog they began to explore and have some fun with add-ons.  One thing I did notice is even in the student that was not embracing it right away, which is fine with me, how comfortable with technology they all were.  Quite a different perspective from my own experiences with more mature students…lol.

I find it ironic how the wheel comes full circle with me (yes me) teaching technology.  Reminds me of a quote from a favourite film.  “When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master.”



1. Sarah Hill - February 1, 2009

Mr H.

I think that’s great that you are introducing blogging to your students. Thinking back to when I was in WE in grade 12, I would have found the reflecting a lot more interesting if I was told to record all of my thoughts online. Why is it that you chose Blogger for your students to use?

And was your hesitant student quiet about it because he was nervous to ‘try something new’? Or was he maybe just not keen on reflecting in general? Thinking back to WE, I wouldn’t have been to excited about it either until I was able to get my feet wet and give blogging a fair shot. I think I would have liked reflecting using Inspiration or Wordle as well.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

2. stephen king - February 1, 2009

Sounds like a really neat project. Makes me wish I had a senior English class again. I wouldn’t mind giving it a try. Out of curiousity, are you getting parental consent for the students to do this? Is it even a requirement? Technology is changing us and school policies do not always cover new things. I’m all for it though!

handspiker - February 1, 2009

I did not get parental permissions though I did use my own descretions and told them to use little personal information in filling our forms including how to block comments etc. I am aware that many people have security concerns and want to do my utmost to protect them as well. This is just a tentative start to explore this and as such want to take my time and see what happens before I think of expanding this.

handspiker - February 1, 2009

Hi Sarah,

I chose Blogger simply because I was familiar with it from previous Master classes and that it is rather simple and easier to use.

As for the reluctant student they are just hesitant to try something new. I am sure that you are aware of many people up here Sarah don’t like to try new things and are rather “stuck in a rut”. He did not mind reflecting in general, he just wanted to do it on paper. So I talked with him one on one about it and encouraged to try it for at least two weeks to get the feel for it. After that we will revisit his opinions and see what he would like to do.

I have been using Inspiration as well. I have used it mainyl for myself but a couple of groups of students doing study guides for themselves and others.

I read your blog as well ans had a long post set up but alas the server at CHS went down and I lost it all. UGH!!!!! When I get time I will try to reply again.

Mr. H.

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