Wednesday was week 2 of the "Internet Study" that I have been helping to co-teach. After the last meeting, one of our English teachers started a blog and has been encouraging her students to post responses to poetry. She wasn’t at the meeting, but her student teacher was there and shared some interesting observations which I will summarize:
- Kids who won’t turn in homework have posted insightful responses to the poetry posted on the blog.
- When the student teacher introduced Death of a Salesman to the class, students were asking if they could "do all the assignments online."
One of the possible explanations we came up with for the students’ eagerness to "discuss" English was that posting a response to a blog entry seems to align nicely with a teenager’s innate desire to be "noticed." How better to be noticed than to comment on a blog posting that is out there for the world to see? We also deduced that kids like the feeling of "participating" and "collaborating" far better than the typical "Go-home-read-this-write-a-paragraph" English class assignments.
Of course this isn’t new information, but what was incredible to see was the power of the classroom teachers coming to those conclusions on their own without being "told" why they should be doing these things.
In a couple of weeks, I plan to give them an overview of blogs and wikis and turn them loose in the computer lab. Good times!