Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It is a challenge!

I asked my students to do the survey by giving them the link in the blackboard announcement. In one class 7-8 students have done it. I have encouraged the others to do so. I will find out about the other class tomorrow.
This is a biology class where we cover a lot of material (25 chapters!). So we have to move at a very rapid pace. What I thought was to engage students in blog discussions where they could post their questions to each other and thus get help for those concepts that they could not follow in the class. So for the first week, I asked them to ask me questions in the class so that I could answer and then suggest to use blogs rather than class time for questions. But so far they have not been much into asking questions. Moreover, what seems to be another challenge is that only one student in this class has ever used a blog in the past and I will find out what it is like for the other class. This will be a big challenge to motivate them to come up with their questions and then post in blogs! any ideas?

7 comments:

  1. I was also surprised by the small number of students who have used blogs in the past. I have 60 new students in my two sections and setting up blogger accounts has been trying at times. I noticed that my students respond to written instructions better than to verbal instructions (e.g., how to set up gMail, Blogger, Blog list, etc.).

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  2. You might want to create a public group page or a Wiki through Google. That way anyone can post, but you control the questions and etc. Even easier would be to create a public Google document where students type questions and others answer it. I'll think about it a bit more. You need something that is easy for students to get into, perhaps even without a password.

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  3. At Ms. K:
    Yep-verbal instructions are not as good.

    On the other hand, I have literally said on the first week: "As homework for tomorrow, go to Blogger and follow the instructions to create a blog" and 2/3 of my class has a blog the next day. That means that I only have to help 1/3 get their blogs while the rest are typing their diagnostics as Blog 1. So my impression is that students may not blog, but many of them are savvy of how to work Web 2.0 tools.

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  4. @Karim:

    I agree with Jason-- Google Docs may be the answer for you. Easier, faster, and you can control it.

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  5. We are exploring the "Nature versus Nurture" question with films and essays, as we discussed at the face-to-face meeting. If I can get my classes up and running, I can open it to your students to respond to "biology" questions that my students might have. I can post the questions and direct them to your classes. I just need to get my "city" set up properly. I'm hoping to have it by this week;I'm hoping that this is not "famous last words." lautrec

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  6. Also, I looked at Tumblr. Apparently, this is a blogging site that many students use. They may already be on that. Just go to Tumblr. com;lautrec

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  7. I think using blogs need to fit the material. A biology class would probably benefit more from a wiki (search pbworks for examples) and students can still add comments. Since your class is content heavy, this would also be an easier way to organize study sections.

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