This was a great week, technology-wise.
Tuesday, I spent the last 20 or so minutes of class getting everyone signed-up for blogs (I have two students who aren't digital natives, so I was glad I could actually sit with them to help them get going).
Friday, they spent around the last half of class posting to their blogs, and so far, the material seems pretty good.
I've used blogs in my online class before and it's always worked well, but I was very happy that so far, it seems useful face-to-face.
The students were all quiet and focused as they worked on their posts, which had them reflect on their reading processes. Next week, I want to have them continue to blog as a place where they can write to learn. But I also want to facilitate their commenting on each other's blogs.
Right now, my big challenge is figuring out how to get them networking with students outside of my class. Like I want to work with Ximena, but her students are in Ning and I'm not quite ready to throw another platform at my students. And Ed and I talked about our students working together, but he's thinking about using FB.
I'm sure we'll work something out, but the platform issue is more complex than I initially thought.
There's a concept called OpenID, where you use one set of credentials to login to other sites. There aren't a lot of sites that use it, though, and I'm not even quite sure how to get it working for Google or Wordpress (I think they might provide OpenIDs, but don't accept them, accept for comments).
So I don't think it's ready for us right now (and it might not ever be ready as it's been around for quite some while already) but if some kind of single-sign-on protocol does ever get adapted, I think that could make our work a lot easier.