Students work at different speeds when we do things online so I have been telling those who finish a task first to go ahead and personalize their blog--giving them permission to access facebook and get their pictures etc. In the liberal arts cluster, this quickly became a fun activity and a bonding experience, with students asking each other (and me) which pic to post, discussions ensuing about favorite music etc. This happened in E-232 and E-140 by the way, which despite their own faults are decent size rooms.
Then I decided to do the same in ENG99. Mind you, ENG 99 is not simply the basic writing class. It is also the class with a majority of non-traditional students, where two of them have actually never used the internet and also our lab is C-237, a lab designed to command NASA missions so that all the workstations will be able to spread out and look at the launch on the big screen, but certainly not designed for having class. There is so far, I believe, only one student--a young one- in that class who has put up a picture, and even she only has a single line for all of her profile. I am curious to see what will happen this coming week, when my classes will interact with each other online, and they will get to see each others' blogs and profiles (cluster students asked me if they can post non-class related items which I told them they could)--will the ENG99 students get an idea of how else this can work, and how it can be more fun if they get into it, or will they overlook the differences? Stay tuned.