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Class blog April 1, 2009

Posted by handspiker in Uncategorized.
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Over the past few weeks I have been meeting with parents of students within my classes. I have had the pleasure of giving out my class blog to assist parents in communicating with their child(ren) as they travel through their educational experience. Many of these parents have said that the blog has been a great tool and wish that more teachers would have something similar. I have had three parents, of children I do not teach, come up to me and say what a great idea the blog is and their hopes of getting me in the future.

The one area I have felt lacking in is the students’ use of the blog. I know some people are using it to check on homework, get misplaced assignments, and checking due dates. But there are still so many who don’t. I have been looking for ways to direct their attention to the blog to see what they can do with it. Journals have helped, but I thought that there could be more.

The devious guy that I am I came up with an idea. When I took Alec’s ECMP 355 or 455 many years ago he showed us something called Hot Potatoes. The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises. It is a cool thing to work with and surprisingly simple. I did a little work with in then and there, but quickly forgot about it after. Just a couple of weeks ago while I was surfing a social network I saw the name again and had an idea. It was a couple of days before a Law 30 test and I decided to post within the class blog the matching question (Question 1) from the exam (using Hot Potatoes). I snuck it in there and said nothing to the students.

The day after the exam one student mentioned it in class that she saw the question online. This caused quite the buzz in the room. I have noticed since then that hits have gone up. I hope that students will see the blog for what it is, a great resource not just a cheat sheet for tests. Did I do the right thing? I don’t know. I guess time and students’ responses will tell.

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1. dlink08 - April 4, 2009

Class Blog,
I thought I was alone in trying to motivate my students to do some work online. I have had a hard time trying to get them to do some work online. Some gave it a try but not many. The ones that have participated in it liked it. It is my first time trying something like this and it was fun to get some of them going.
I don’t think its a bad thing to let your students see a question or two on your blog site. It has motivated them to check it more often. And I also never heard of Hot Potatoes, I am going to check it out. Thanks for posting it up, may be it will come in handy for me next time. It is reassuring to hear that parents are welcoming that kind of communication with them and their students. May be I can start a class blog of my own. Where can I take a look at your class blog? Good stuff,
later, Darren


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