Before I began living in blog-land I had students write reflections every week--a page--responding to text and I used these to start class discussion, and as a gold mine for essay topics--I could see what in the text spoke to them--so I want to take a moment to compare my experience with blogs so far with my earlier experience with HANDED IN WRITTEN REFLECTIONS. Point number one--they took the reflections more seriously--a greater percentage of students wrote them and gave them to me--now it is only week 2 1/2-3 so I am trying to adjust and be patient--but there is something about the blog that they may not take as seriously--and I have tried to lower the boom but the results are mixed: "I ordered the book the first day of class but it hasn't arrived yet" was one response--I made this student go to the library...Point two--they are very interested in GRADES--and I am using the blog evaluator that Priscilla gave us--great--I showed it in class and they seemed....intimidated! Point three--some are preferring to write reflections because they like the privacy and so far I have given them that option but am trying to win them over by responding to blogs quickly. On the positive side--they love posting pictures and they are talking to each other--so I am trying to think about how to encourage new kinds of communities--tomorrow we will be getting groups together for each of 5 novels--and they have signed up on NING--
Finally--tomorrow Scott and I are going to set things up (thank you Dr X) so my class will be reading his class blogs on the Causes of Crime--then they will be applying ideas from Scott's students to Alexie's novel and reservation life--will let you all know how it goes!