Sunday, November 14, 2010

One Englishcompville Down: One Englishcompville Up

Due to enormous technical difficulties (mine), the Spruz compville site burned. It just was not working. However, once the class was actually able to work in the lab, we were able to work on the new and improved Englishcompville site Englishcompville.wetpaint.com. One class easily transitioned into the blogging...incorporating their own personalities. Students worked together on the directive (a vocabulary blog) as well as joining and uploading various elements to the Compville Research Archives page, the Compville Travel Bureau, Compville Comix, Compville Radio Station, etc.
What was more interesting was that the second class, the more disengaged, rowdy students began to write sentences using the vocabulary in earnest. One particularly disruptive student settled down to write sentences that were accurate (albeit somewhat inappropriate in nature). Somehow just the act of blogging appeared to soothe her enough to sit still. This goes along with what Rich said about the students being more comfortable learning from video, and the nature of this generational beast. Can it be that just using the computer is a mild sedative similar to the act of knitting for relaxation?

2 comments:

  1. This is really interesting. Maybe an analogy could be made between computer as a sedative and media/television as babysitter? I might be overstepping my boundaries here and speaking about childrearing, which is a subject I have no knowledge/experience with since I'm not a parent myself. But, and I realize this is simplistic, since the younger generations rely so much on media/technology, they respond more readily to such means of stimulation. This may not be an exactly comparable example but few of my students who often do not read/follow directions, are the ones who compose very interesting responses. It is almost as if they get so engrossed in the activity that they forget that they are in class and often are somewhat off the mark as to what the assignment required them to do. But on the other hand, they compose so insightful pieces of writing. Now the question becomes- should they be rewarded just because they actually wrote something or should they be held responsible for not following directions/not answering the question which they were asked to address?

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  2. I agree on the idea of computer being a sedative with some students. It's true that a good number of students do settle down when asked to work on their blogs assignments in class, however, there are a few students who do the exact opposite. In other words, they are very engaged in class discussions but have serious concentration issues when asked to post on their blogs. They cannot seem to resist the temptation of checking and updating their Facebook accounts when the "opportunity" presents itself in a computer lab.

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