Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When Blogger is M.I.A

Last semester, I had my students debate whether stereotypes have a greater impact on men or women, and I recorded the debate and later posted it on the class blog. The students really enjoyed this activity. This term, just this past Wed., I had my class debate whether masculinity stands in the way of men entering female professions as well as getting involved in child care. It did not go as well as the debate last term and one student posted a scathing review of the activity on his blog. In my comment, in response to his post, I told him we can discuss his concerns in class on Friday but as he did not attend class on Friday and blogger service was unavailable, I couldn't ask students to respond to his post. If you'd like to check it out - Flaws of a Group Debate at http://richgranados.blogspot.com/ .

Following an in-class screening of Gone Baby Gone last week, on Friday, May 13, I reserved half of the class period, or one hour, for my students to compose their Blog Post #10 which was a response to Prof. Luke V's Heroic Lives students' essays on consequentialism in Gone Baby Gone. Luckily, I composed the directions for this assignment- Luke's essay prompt and which aspects/how my students should respond to his students' essays, and list of my students and their partners from Luke's class- in Google Docs rather than as an unposted blog post on my class blog as since Thursday, some time in the afternoon, Blogger service was unavailable. As a result blog posts posted on Wed. and Thurs. were erased, and while one could read whatever was posted on the blogs prior to Wed., signing in, posting or commenting functions were unavailable. As a result, I had to e-mail all my students with extensive directions on how to complete all their assignments- blog posts and formal assignments- in google docs and share these with me and once blogger becomes available to post the links on their blogs as we have done since the beginning of the semester. Blogger service was restored at some point on Friday afternoon. Some of my students, over the weekend, did post the links to their Google docs document containing responses to Luke's students' essays on both, their own blogs and as comments on Luke's students' blogs.
Am slowly losing my faith in blogger and if I use a platform next term, I think I'll consider tumblr or NING.

This is just a bit of a rant-on Friday night, the boiler in my complex broke(they still have not fixed it) so I have not had hot water or heat, and still don't, and my internet provider cut my connection off claiming another account which is connected to my account(huh?) has not been paid for for 180 days. So not heat, no hot water and no internet until last night...

2 comments:

  1. Hey Miss B--

    First of all, WOW, what a weekend have you had! So, so sorry everything broke down at the same time. :-(

    Second, I found it interesting that Mr. Granados' blog entry is the longest one in his whole blog. That would seem to indicate he has strong feelings about the debate, so you may want to talk to him outside of class--or more like, listen to what he has to say.

    Finally, I hear you about Blogger (my students had to turn in a blog series for evaluation this week-end and so I had to do panic control), but, frankly, having worked with Blackboard, which can be down for a WEEK, I feel more confident about the reliability of Blogger than almost any other online tool on the planet.

    However, I DO think we should all have a plan B (a backup platform, for example) for when there are incidents. Because if we are working online, we must expect disconnects. I mean, it's the nature of the beast.

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  2. Funny thing about Mr. Granados. After several students responded to his post, he stated he was drunk when he composed that post. Therefore, should I advise him not to drink and post? I'm being facetious but as he posted about 20 min after class, I guess, rather than being concerned that he might really have a drinking problem, I should take it as his attempt to take back what he said.

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