Monday, August 25, 2008

Nothing accomplished yet... or did we?

First day of the first full week of school. I took my classes to the library today to get their blogs set up. It took quite a bit longer than I thought it would... the whole period, actually. Most of the students, except for first block, got their blogs set up. First block got caught by time. I figured most of them were familiar with blogging, so we'd breeze through it, and I had them read independently for the first bit of class. Bad idea. By the time we got down there and got things going, we didn't have anywhere near the amount of time I thought we'd have. Looks like I'll be working with them in the classroom tomorrow since I'm not sure how much library time I'll be able to get this week. Perhaps while I'm working with a few students, the rest can work on the district pre-writing assessment, and I can kill two birds with one stone. The first blog entries are due by the end of class this Friday, so I've really got to get moving on it.

I learned a few things today. First, don't assume that every student is a "digital native." There are far fewer of them than one might think, at least when it comes to things like blogging. Secondly, it is going to take some time to explain to the students how the blog is to be used. I had a few students that wanted to push the limits around the school acceptability. I had to remind them more than once that this wasn't MySpace, that it was for classwork, not play.

Speaking of MySpace, it truly is the bane of my existence as a teacher. So many of them just wanted to log into that or to YouTube and play... and not just the freshmen, either. My juniors were just as bad. For many of them, the internet is a place of entertainment, and that's about as far as it goes. It's a bit surprising in some respects. Not as many view it as a source of information as I might have expected, but then again, unless someone has taught them that, how else might they have known it? It's going to be a very interesting year. I'm looking forward to it.

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